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I N 


Preached in NORTH AMERICA between the Years 1763 and 177$: 



Vicar of EPSOM in the County of Surrey. 

" At vero cum a ftrepitu tumultuque aures noilrac paulu- 

" lum conquieverint, quid tandem caufae eft, cur de republica quid 
" fentiamus taciturnitate diuturniore celemus ?" 

Pracfat. <id B^K-endenum .de Scatu, &c. p: xv. 

L O N D N: 


T O 

George Wafhington Efquire, 



.IN prefixing your name to a work avowedly 
hoftile to that Revolution in which you bore a 
diftinguifhed part, I am not confcious that I de- 
ferve to be charged with inconfiflency. I do not 
addrefs myfelf to the General of a Conventional 
Army ; but to the late dignified Prefident of the 
United States, the friend of rational and fober 

As a Britifh fubject I have obferved with plea- 
fure that the form of Government, under which 
you and your fellow-citizens now hope to find 
peace and happinefs, however defective in many 
refpeds, has, in the unity of it's executive, and 
the divifion of it's legislative, powers, been 
framed after a Britifh model. That, in the dif- 
charge of your duty as head of this Government, 
youhave refitted thofe anarchical dodrines, which 
are hardly lefs dangerous to America than to 
Europe, is not more an eulogium on the wifdom 
of our forefathers, than honourable to your in- 
dividual wifdom and integrity. 


As a Minifter of Religion I am equally bound 
to tender you my refpedt for having (in your 
valedictory addrefs to your countrymen) aflerted 
your opinion that " the only firm fupports of 
" political profperity are religion and morality ;" 
and that " morality can be maintained only by 
" religion." Thofe beft friends of mankind, 
who, amidft all the din and uproar of Utopian 
reforms, perfift to think that the affairs of this 
world can never be well adminiftered by men 
trained to difregard the God who made it, muft 
ever thank you for this decided proteft againft 
the fundamental maxim of modern revolution- 
ifts, that religion is no concern of the State. 

It is on thefe grounds, Sir, that I now prefume 
(and I hope not impertinently) to add my name 
to the lift of thofe who have dedicated their works 
to you. One of them, not inconfiderable in 
fame, from having been your fulfome flatterer, 
has become your foul calumniator : to fuch dedi- 
cators I am willing to perfuacle myfelf I have no 
refemblance. I bring no incenfe to your fhrine 
even in a Dedication. Having never paid court 
to you whilft you fhone in an exalted ftation, I 
am not fo weak as to fteer my little bark acrofs 
the Atlantic in fearch of patronage and prefer- 
ment ; or fo vain as to imagine that now, in the 
evening of my life, I may yet be warmed by 


your fetting fun. My utmoft ambition will be 
abundantly gratified by your condefcending, as a 
private Gentleman in America, to receive with 
candour and kindnefs this difmterefted teftimony 
of regard from a private Clergyman in England. 
I was once your neighbour and your friend : 
the unhappy difpute, which terminated in the 
difunion of our refpeclive countries, alfo broke 
off our perfonal connexion : but I never was 
more than your political enemy ; and every fen- 
timent even of political animofity has, on my 
part, long ago fubfided. Permit me then to hope, 
that this tender of renewed amity between us 
may be received and regarded as giving fome 
promife of that perfect reconciliation between 
our two countries which it is the fmcere aim of 
this publication to promote. If, on this topic, 
there be another wifh ftill nearer to my heart, it 
is that you would not think it beneath you to co- 
operate with fo humble an effort to produce that 

You have fhewn great prudence (and, in my 
eftimation, ftill greater patriotifm) in refolving 
to terminate your days in retirement. To be- 
come, however, even at Mount Vernon, a mere 
private man, by diverting yourfelf of all public 
influence, is not in your power. I hope it is not 
your wifh. Unincumbered with the diffracting 


cares of public life, you may now, by the force 
of a ftill powerful example, gradually train the 
people around you to a love of order and fubor- 
dination ; and, above all, to a love of peace. 
" Has tibi erunt artes." That you poffefled ta- 
lents eminently well adapted for the high poft 
you lately held, friends and foes have concurred 
in teftifying : be it my pleafing talk thus pub- 
licly to declare that you carry back to your pater- 
nal fields virtues equally calculated to bloom in 
the (hade. To refemble Cincinnatus is but fmall 
praife : be it yours, Sir, to enjoy the calm repofe 
and holy ferenity of a Chriftian hero ; and may 
" the Lord blefs your latter end more than your 
" beginning!" 

I have the honour to be, 

S i R, 
Your very fincere Friend, 

And mod obedient humble Servant, 

EPSOM, Surrey, 7 
4th Nov. 1797.3 



JL H E reparation of Thirteen Britifh Colonies in North 
America from the Parent State is, in many refpefts, one of 
the moft remarkable events of modern times t till the prefent 
revolution of France, it was, in fome points of view, without 
a parallel in the hiftory of the world. The downfal of the 
ancient monarchies was preceded by caufes, and effected by 
means, which were not wholly inadequate to the event. To 
their tyranny the Tarquins owed their expulfion ; and to a 
fyftem of government, which was at once oppre {live and feeble, 
Spain may afcribe her lofs of Holland and the kingdom of 
Portugal. * But there was no fuch concurrence of adequate 
caufes to produce the defection of America.! 

Nor is it the lead remarkable circumftance in the hiftory 
of this defection, that, as though eclipfed by a ftill greater 
event of the fame kind, which has fucceeded it, itfecms already 
well nigh forgotten : or elfe, a great political revolution is 
now regarded as fo very ordinary an event, that, however it 
may agitate the world whilft it is paffing, when pafled it 
merits being recorded merely as a common epoch. Of the 
American revolt it is certain no hiftory has yet been compiled 
by any writer of eminence. It is true, feveral have attempted 
it and with abilities, it may be, not inadequate to the talk : 
but they have failed, from not having made jt a part of their 
plan to trace to any confiderable extent either it's caufes or 
it's confequences. Thefe writers therefore, it is probable, 


will think it no refle&ion on them not to have performed 
what they did not undertake. Yet, without fuch inveftiga- 
tions, even novels, when well written, may be not lefs in- 
ftru&ive than real hiflory ; which is preferable to fiction 
only from it's exhibiting a view of the fermentations and con- 
flicts of human pamons and human reafon, drawn, not from 
the imagination, but from real life. 

The want, however, of afpiritof philofophical inveftigation 
is by no means the ftrongeft objection that may be urged 
againft the hiftorians of the American revolt. A much more 
material objection is, that (with hardly a fingle exception) 
they have been party- writers. Some bias and fome leaning to- 
wards particular principles, and even towards particular men, 
it would hardly be a merit, if it were poffible, in any political 
writer not to have. An hiflorian is ignorant or negligent of 
his duty only when his work appears, in its mod prominent 
features, to have been written with the direct view of ferving 
the purpofes of his party. 

The firft of thefe hiftorians in point of time is the Rev. 
James Murray of Newcaftle upon Tyne. So early as 1778, 
during the war, he publifhed, what he called, " An impar- 
" tial Hiflory of the Prefent War in America," in 2 vols. Svo, 
This hiftory, j)efides being extremely partial and inflamma- 
tory, is fo very ordinary and mean a performance as to be 
totally undeferving of criticifm or animadverfion. 

In *7 8 & J onn Andrews, LL.D. publifhed an "Hiftory 
" of the late War," in 4 vols. 8vo. This work appears to 
have been compiled from news-papers and other periodical 
publications, immediately on thtfpur of the occaftcn. It exhi- 
bits little perfonal knowledge either of the controverfy or of 
facts no acutenefs of obfervation, nor any marks of deep 
and clofe thinking; and feems to take part with the Ameri- 
cans, only becaufe theirs was then become the popular fide, 
and becaufe alfo the author found the largeft flock of mate- 
rial & 


Hals on that fide already prepared to his hands. With all 
thefe drawbacks, I confider this as a lefs partial and more 
*aithful compilation than any general hiftory that has yet 
been prefented to the public. This year alfo produced 
<c Hiftoire des Troubles de rAmerique Anglois, par Francois 
" Soules ;" with a Dedication to Lord Percy. This book is in 
2 vols. 8vo. j and written with great profeffions of difmtereft- 
ednefs and impartiality ; but is evidently the work of a writer 
who had no opportunities of obtaining any other information 
than the public papers fupplied, nor any extraordinary depth 
or clearnefs of judgment to enable him to appreciate even 
fuch information with competent {kill. In this prolific year 
of 1785, there alfo appeared " The Hiftory of the Revolution 
" of South Carolina from a Britifli Province to an Indepen- 
" dent State," by David Ramfay, M. D. member of the 
American Congrefs, in 2 vols. 8vo. This, as well as the 
fame author's " Hiftory of the American Revolution," in two 
thin 8vo vols. printed in 1791, is a work of great merit in 
point of compofition : the author is, undoubtedly, a man of 
fenfe, and not illiterate ; but his hiftories are no lefs clearly 
the productions of an avowed partifan of the revolt, who is 
by principle a puritan and a republican *. 

It was not till 1788 that a work of great profeffion and 
promife, the defign of which is avowed to have been con- 
ceived in 1776, and was announced to the public even before 
the termination of the war, was printed. It is intitled 
" The Hiftory of the Rife, Progrefs, and Eftablifliment of 
" the Independence of the United States of America ; by 
" William Gordon, D. D. in 4 vols. 8vo." That this work 
is at leaft decently written will be readily acknowledged, 
and alfo with more information, and perhaps more fairnefs, 

"* See p. 5. vol. i. of the latter work, for proofs of his predilcftion for 
pufitanifm ; and every page in both his hiftories, for proofs of the great in- 
tereft he takes in-^evoludon and democracy. 

a 2 than 



than any of the author's predeceflbrs have to boaft of : but 
it mud alfo be acknowledged, that (refembling in this fome 
much more celebrated hiftories by another eminent Defter 
of the fame Church and Country as Dr. Gordon) it was pal- 
pably written on purpofe to be fold. Of courfe, the author 
combats no popular opinions or prejudices : he appears indeed 
very ferioufly to think that the Vox Populi is truly Vox Dei , 
and, afiuming it as a fat, that the voice of the people of 
America was in favour of the revolt, in being it's advocate, 
he cannot be charged with facrificing any fentiments of his 
own merely to his pafiion for popularity. 

I know not how far I may be permitted, with propriety, 
to reckon 2 vols. in 8vo. of " Travels in North America in 
" 1780, 1781, and 1782," by the Marquis de Chaftellux, as 
hiftorical, and relating to the revolution. Never was an 
author more fortunate in a tranflator : it appears to have 
been the fteady purpofe of both author and tranflator to 
conciliate the regards of the people of America, not only by 
flattering them, but alfo by vilifying the people of Great 
Britain. In purfuing this purpofe, their confidence in affer- 
tion is hardly more confpicuous than their want of candour ? 
and, like infidels in general, their credulity in believing Ame- 
ricans poflefled of every virtue is as remarkable as their in- 
credulity in difbelieving any teftimonies in favour of Britons. 
Their ihamelefs partiality, however, has defeated it's own 
end : the book has now funk into very general neglect, owing 
no doubt to it's author's having fo very little accurate know- 
ledge of the character, the circumflances, or the politics of 
the people, of whom it profefTes to give a faithful account. 

That authors, with no better pretenfions than thefe, to 
whom declamation is as natural as a confident narrative 
and fair impartial reafoning are difficult, fhould thus uni- 
formly have chofen the popular fide, is no more than might 
have been expefted : but that the highly and juftly efleemed 



writer, to whom the world is indebted for the hiftorical ar- 
ticle in the Annual Regifter, fhould have lent his aid to give 
fome profpect of permanency to the mere party colourings 
of diftempered times and (hould, inftead of obtaining an 
honourable niche in the temple of Fame, be contented to be 
clafled with an ignoble herd, the party writers who abetted 
that revolt is a fubject of regret to every man who knows 
the value of literary reputation. 

This writer, like many others of his fet, knows well how, 
without fubjecting himfelf perhaps to a charge of any direct 
falfification of facts, to exhibit a fallacious reprefentation of 
things. His method is to bring forward, with great care and 
zeal, all that is in favour of the party whofe caufe he efpoufes ; 
whilft, with no lefs care and zeal, he keeps back every thing 
that is adverfe to it. The objections and cavils of the Oppo- 
fition are dated in their utmoft ftrength; but he hardly deigns 
to notice how conftantly and fatisfactorily the futility of their 
objections was fhewn by the friends to Government. I well 
remember, that, for a long time, the compilation of this part 
of that valuable periodical publication was attributed to Mr. 
Burke. This furmife (of which no fecret was made) no one 
ever confirmed or refuted by any direct and clear avowal or 
disavowal. But whether the compiler was, or was not, Mr. 
Burke, or connected with Mr. Burke, it will hardly be denied 
that he has taken the fame line of conduct as that great man: 
No individual defended the American revolution, or repro- 
bated that of France, with more zeal than Mr. Burke. And 
the hiftorian in queftion, according to his abilities, (which 
were not over-rated even when his productions were laid at 
the door of Mr. Burke,) has done the fame. 

During the continuance of the conteft, it feemed to be a 
part of the warfare, that each party mould mifreprefent and 
vilify both the caufe, and the efpoufers of the caufe, of 
their opponents, This, it is probable, is in fome degree 

33 the 


the cafe in all wars : but the propenfity was particularly 
flrong and virulent in the American war ; and was the more 
inexcufable, as both parties, even in the moment when they 
were moft guilty of it, were confcious that their indifcrimi- 
nate abufe of each other was unwife and unjuft, and fuch 
an indignity as, I fincerely believe, either of them would 
have refented if practifed by any but themfelves. But it 
ihould be recollected, that the American war was not a war 
of conquefr, or to repel infult or aggreflion, but merely a 
party conteft : and who does not know that mifreprefent- 
ation and abufe are the ufual weapons of the partifans of 
parties ? In fpeaking of party in this cafe, I fpeak indifcri- 
minately of all thofe perfons who in any manner abetted the 
caufe of the infurgents, or took part with the friends of 
Government with but little confideration of the fide of the 
Atlantic on which they dwelt. Indeed I know not how, 
with any mew of juftice, to diflbciate the views of the actual 
revolters in America from thofe of their abettors in Europe : 
if we may judge from their zeal and their exertions, their 
intereft in its iflue mufl have been equal. The former, it 
is true, in addition to their inflammatory fpeeches and 
writings, fought in defence of their caufe : ftill it is not eafy 
to determine whether more was done in America or in 
Europe to promote it's fuccefs. 

Much to the credit, however, of both parties, the mean- 
nefs, the malignity, and the mifchievoufnefs of this petty 
kind of war have now long been difcontinued : and the great 
body of the people in both countries now have the fpirit, as 
well as the wifdom, to fpeak of each other as there is reafon 
to believe they always thought. And, in God's name, let 
the contrary conduct be left to thofe numerous fwarms of 
reftlefs men, who are as naturally engendered in free go.- 
vernments, as ferpents and other fierce and noxious animals 
are in warm climates ! To fuch men it is a fufficient objec- 


tion to the whole of any government, that in fome of it's 
parts it is imperfect, and in any inftance corrupt : their 
tafle, like their talents, is directed only to the pulling down j 
and their reforms terminate in deftruUon. They are alfo 
as a&ive and perfevering as they are dangerous. Thofe of 
them who refide in Great Britain, taking pleafure only in 
revolutions, unfatiated with that of America, and even with 
it's gigantic offspring, the revolution of France, have long 
been, and ftill are, equally induftrious in foftering a fimilar 
fpirit of difcontent and difunion in our fitter kingdom of 
Ireland : and their brethren, the malecontents of America, 
were never more violent in their oppofition to the exifting 
government, whilft it was vefted in Great Britain, till in- 
deed they actually rebelled, than they have uniformly been 
to that which they themfelves fet up in it's ftead. This re- 
volutionary fpirit has been, if poflible, ftill more unequivo- 
cally difplayed, by the countenance and encouragement 
which, with alarming fteadinefs, the perfons of this defcrip- 
tion in both countries have uniformly given to the revolters 
in France ; though it is hardly poflible they fhould feel any 
other intereft in that revolution, than an hope and perfua- 
fion that it will be favourable to other revolutions an hope 
in which there is, alas ! far too much probability that they v 
will not be difappointed. 

It is not to be denied, however, that fhallow and deceit- 
ful as the pretences of fuch patriots generally are, popularity 
ftill does, in no ordinary degree, attach to thofe of them, 
who, on the pretence of the liberties of the people, difturb I 
the fettled order of government a pretence to which artful j 
men in all ages and countries from the beginning of time 
have always had recourfe, and never without fome degree 
of fuccefs: for it is a pretence to which multitudes ftill 
liften with pleafure, though confcious that it has very rarely 
if ever been realifed. From this common habit of profeiT- 

a 4 in S 


jng great zeal for the liberties of the people, even hiftorians 
are not exempted , if they were, intereft alone would lead 
all thofe of them, over whom intereft has it's ufual afcend- 
ancy, to confult popularity by affe&ing it. However ex- 
traordinary, then, it may be thought, that a caufe which once 
was remarkably popular, fhould all at once, and without any 
adequate reafon, have ceafed to be fo, it certainly can be no 
matter of furprize that, when it did become fuch, hifto- 
rians (hould in general have taken the popular fide. 

This powerful circumftance of unpopularity is of itfelf 
fufficiently inaufpicious to true hiftory : but this was by no 
means the only dark cloud that hung over the profpeft of a 
true hiftory of the American revolt. Long before the con- 
teft was abandoned, many perfons, who at firft earneftly and 
fincerely reprobated the revolt, came in time to be overawed 
by the apparent difficulty, if not impoflibility, of fubduing it : 
and they brought themfelves to think, that if the war were 
perfevered in, even it's final failure of fuccefs in America 
\ Height not be the moil difaftrous event which might befall 
them. Towards the clofe of the war, alfo, it fuddenly be- 
came as unpopular with the nation in general, as at firft it 
had been popular. To bring the nation to this temper had 
long been the invariable aim of Oppofition. Their efforts to 
effect it were inceflant and unwearied. For a long time, 
indeed, their motives being clearly feen through, they were 
very generally and juftly defpifed. But, encouraged by their 
perfect acquaintance with our national character, they per- 
fevered, and by perfevering fucceeded. In the long lift of 
virtues for which, as a nation, we are eminent, we have not 
to boaft of any extraordinary firmnefs and fortitude in bear- 
ing up under a long feries of untoward and adverfe events. 
The v/ifdom of any meafure is eftimated almoft folely from 
it's confequences : an unfuccefsful Minifter rarely efcapes 
the charge of incapacity j and the fingle- circumftance of a 



want of fuccefs is not unfrequently urged, even by cool and 
fenfible men, as a fufficient reafon for the difplacing of a 
Minider. Many good judges, however, who were not party . 
men, were of opinion that the Miniders who then directed 
the national councils, in addition to their ill fuccefs, were 
really unequal to the management of the arduous bufinefs 
which was then impofed on them. In fuch conjunctures men 
only of commanding talents, who, at any cod, and by any 
means, can and will enforce fuccefs, diould be dationed at >- 
the helm. Men who are in the habit of being guided in r 
their conduct by the fober deductions of cool reafon, arc 
eafily overpowered by din and clamour; and, in the midd of 
confufion, they themfelves become confufed. This was p; 
pably the cafe with his Majefty's Minifters during the war 
with America. They were fo dunned and nearly dupefied 
by the cavils and thwartings of Oppofition in Parliament, 
that no leifure was left to them to think of and attend to 
other things as they ought : for, even a military campaign 
was more eafily planned and conducted than one in the 
chapel of St. Stephen. Many of their bed concerted plans 1 
were cruelly frudrated by unforefeen, untoward circum- i 
dances ; and their faired hopes of an happy termination of I 
the conted protracted, day after day, and year after year, 
beyond all rational calculation : thefe circumdances, furely, A 
were more than fufficient to perplex, confound, and difmay f 
even men of the mod vigorous minds. Under the impreG v ^r 
fion of fuch caufes, I dare not take upon me to blame thojfe 
deady friends of the Conditution, who, having all along 
given their firm fupport to adminidration, at length, fatally 
. for the empire, acknowledged the conviction of their minds, ^ 
Ithat the councils of the Cabinet were as feeble as the coji- i 
dud of fome of thofe Generals whom by a kind of fatality T 
they were fo infatuated as to employ. That any conduct* 
could be more feeble was not poffible. The mifmanage- 
A ments, 


ments, indeed, both of Minifters and Generals, became fo great 
and notorious, that the people were almoft excufable for 
becoming, in their turn, clamorous, and anxious to get rid at 
any rate of fo unpropitious a war. In fuch an agitated (late 
of mind, it was to little purpofe to demonftrate to them, as 
was done, that, ruinous as the war had been, and appeared 
likely to continue to be, it could be got rid of only at the ex- 
pence of much greater evils than could or would have been 
felt from it's continuance, even if continued under every dif- 
advantage. The advocates for an immediate peace infilled 
on the evils then actually endured, which were immediate 
/ and certain, whilft thofe which might arife from a premature 

s t neace were allowed to be diftant and uncertain. On fuch a 
topic, no man who is duly aware of the extreme precariouf- 

1 nefs of all human events, will allow himfelf to fpeak with 

.' confidence : but the "pofition is as defenfible as any which 
depends only on reafoning and flrength of argument can be, 
that, had the objections of thofe perfons who in 1783 op- 
pofed the peace been liftened to, many of the dreadful evils 
which now prefs fo heavily on the world in general, and on 

'. Great Britain in particular, might have been avoided. An 
addition of twenty millions more to the national debt at that 
period, might have prevented it's being now increafed more 
than an hundred millions. The French revolution, with all 
thofe other convulfions to which it may yet give birth, 

. .would then have been nipped in the bud. 

[The Oppofition of that period was by far the ftrongeft, the 
mod united, and perfevering, of any that till then had ever 
been known : and Parliament, where alone public fpeaking 

, has it's full fcope, is the theatre which men who feek to rife J 

f by oppofuion, naturally choofe for the difplay'of their talents/ 
. Hardly in any other way than in Parliament, and by oppofi- 
- tion, can any man hope to obtain reputation in this kingdom 
cither as a public fpeaker or public man. Parliamentary 



debate is the ftudy and the bufmefs of fuch public men : and 
fuch is the adroitnefs and ability which fome of them obtain 
in thefe exercifes, that I believe a variety of inftances might 
eafily be adduced to (hew that, merely by their fuperiority in 
the arts of debate, they gain an afcendancy over men who in 
judgment are their fuperiors. 1 j^The oppofitioiiifts in the 
American war, by dint of long (ervic?, became veterans : on 
their own ground they were indeed, as they were called, a 
formidable phalanx. No fooner did the popular tide begin 
to turn and run in their favour, than the zeal and activity of 
the apoftles of popularity were redoubled. The people 
were goaded on to fuch a pitch of diflatisfaftion and de- 
fpondency as would have been hardly pardonable had the 
(late of things been in all refpecls as difcouraging as the 
leaders of the oppofition confidently declared it was. So dif- 
turbed indeed was the public mind, that many fenfible, cool, 
and well-difpofed men juftified the precipitancy with which 
the peace was concluded, by reafons fo mallow and frivolous 
as they would have been amamed of at any other timeA 

Few points in politics are more familiar to a Brttuh ear " 
than a change of Miniftry : yet, however common, it never 
can be a matter of flight moment. It really is in itfelf, an4 
people have been trained very generally to think that it is, 
fomething like a revolution in miniature. The fame means 
that are ufed to overturn, a Government, are praclifed on 3. 
fmaller fcale to turn out a Miniftry : thefe means in general 
are the involving Government in' inextricable difficulties. In 
various points of view, frequent changes of Miniftry do 
harm to a country ; whilft they appear to do good only in 
one. The greateft evil arifing from them is their enuring 
the minds of the people to revolutionary ideas : and it is a 
refinement of judgment hardly to be expected from the mafs 
of mankind, that they mould think it a merit to turn out a 
Miiiifter, but a demerit to refill the Sovereign by whom that 


Xli P R E F A C E, 

Minifter was employed ; whilft the only way in which it can 
poflibly do any good, is by withdrawing the minds of the 
multitude from perfons and objects of ftill greater confe- 
quence ; as mariners, with the view of keeping a whale 
from the fhip, are faid to amufe him by throwing out a tub. 
The perfons who are ufually moft active in the difplacing of 
Minivers, may, it is "poflible, be fatisfied with difpoflefling 
them of their places, and then obtaining them for them- 
felves ; but what affurance can they have for relying that 
the people by whofe inftrumentality the difmifial was effected 
will alfo be fatisfied ? Is there no reafon to apprehend, that, 
having once learned how much it is in their power to reject 
or retain perfons in high ftations, they may not always wait 
to be directed when they {hall or (hall not exercife it ? 

From the character of many of the individuals, of whom 
during the laft war the Oppofition confided, it would indi- 
cate as much want of candour to imagine that a majority of 
them ,were not fatisfied with difplacing the Miniilry, as want 
yof discernment not to fee that all of them were not fo fatisfied. 
But I might, for aught I know, calumniate even thofe dif- 
fatisfied men, were I to charge them v/ith having made fo 
< inadequate, fo infecure, fo ignominious a peace as was then 
made, merely for the fake of the peace. That was but the 
oftenfible pretence : nor was even the removing the Miniftry 
their primary motive ; th^jaili^g^motiyein allfyftem^tic 
oppofitions, it is probable, is fuccefs i 

A change~~omeinures7"^^ or apparent, is one of 

the natural confequences of a change of men. Hardly had 
the late leading oppoiitionifts, now converted into Minifters, 
taken their feats, before a pacification was obtained. Dif- 
graced, defeated, and dimeartened as the nation had,. been 
by the war, they now eagerly embraced every glimpfe of 
better hopes held out to them by the peace. Of courfe, 
the impolicy of the late war, and the policy of the peace, 


P R E PA C E. 

were the favourite topics of the new Minifters : and as every 
peace, however deftrutlive it may ultimately be in it's con- 
fequences, brings fomething like a refpite from the preffurc 
of inftant danger, there is nothing very extraordinary in the 
people's having now become as enamoured of peace, as juil 
before they had been of war. Not only the conduct of the 
war was reprobated, (as it well might be,) but the war itfelf : 
not only was Great Britain blamed, but America was pro- 
nounced to be without blame j and this not fo much for the 
fake of exculpating the latter, as for the fake of criminating 
the former. Not only thofe members of Parliament, who 
had always, and uniformly, been in opposition, but many of 
the former (launch friends of the ex-miniftry, now cordially 
Coalescing, rpnc^r^d ? n declaring, thit ^ rrmteft iyjt^ 
America had been equally cenfurabkL in__principle 
policy. This was the teft of the fincerjty ofjhgjr .rgrnprili-. 
ation, and the cement of their future union. It was thus, 
(if I may be pardoned for producing a comparifon from the 
Scriptures,) that when the Saviour of the world was to be 
condemned, two inveterate parties among the Jews were re- 
conciled : and the fame day, fays the facred hiftorian, Pilate 
and Herod 'were made friends together ; for, before, they were at 
enmity between themfehes. Thafr an phjeft whjcl mpn, 
theirjey_esjopen. and perfeJ^yj^Qar^ had 1f>rg 

clared to ^white^fhould all at once, in the eyps nf the. 
men, u become ag-black as if befm^ared with hejl *,** was 
certainly not in the common courfe of things. But, a charge 
of inconfiftency was little regarded by the majorities, which 
now once more foon and eafily attained their ufual ftandard 
in Parliament. Undifmayed by the reflection, how very 
lately, on grounds and principles totally different, they had 
fupported another Minifter in larger majorities, and for a 
longer continuance than had ever before been experienced, 

* Shakefpear, Henry VIII. 


P H E F A C i?. 

they now flocked round the flandard of his triumphant op- 
ponents; and (as far as could be judged by appearances) 
tl^liberately fupported meafures which were diametrically 
oppofite to. thofe they had before abetted. The ex-minifter 
himfelf was now indeed funk in the deep profound of that 
xnyfterious union of parties, which has been emphatically 
called the Coalition ; and with him his party funk, to rife 
no more. Ever fmce that fatal period, it has been the 
fafhion with public men of all parties and defcripcions to 
fpeak of the American war, jufl as we do of the gunpowder 
treafon, or any other event which is regarded as a foul blot 
in the hiftory of our nation an event which we regret that 
it is impoffible totally to forget. And, as though the patriots 
of both countries had fome particular interefts to ferve by 
fo extraordinary a courfe of proceeding, or as though in 
any quarrel public or private it had ever been known that 
blame attached to only one of the parties, they refufe to 
Men to any arguments, or to receive any proofs, which 
might induce a doubt of their confidence being ill-founded. 
The monument of London is not more confident in it's af- 
fertions that the Papifts fet fire to that proud city, than 
every man who has any pretentious to patriotifm, whether 
on this or on that fide of the Atlantic, is in aflqrting that to 
the tyranny only of Great Britain the revolt of America is 
to be afcribed. 

It may perhaps be thought a fufficient apology for fome 
exalted pcrfonages who have fmce held, and fome who do 
flill hold, high ftations under Government, that, were they 
not now to condemn the part which this country took in en- 
deavouring to coerce America, they muft condemn their own 
former conduct. Thus fads are to be falfified, and truth 
fupprefled, merely to refcue a few diftinguiflied characters 
from a charge of inconfiftency. This is one of the great 
evils arifing from our prcfent parliamentary fyftem of oppo- 



fition. Whilft voting againft Miniilers continues to be re- 
garded as the ted of patriotic principle, and the moft direct 
and certain, if indeed it be not the only road to power, men 
of talents muft neceflarily come into office, and even into ad- 
miniftration, to a certain extent gagged and bound. Men 
in private life, and as individuals, fometimes have the mag- 
nanimity to acknowledge that they have been in an error : 
but this is an exertion of fortitude hardly to be expecled 
from men invefled with public characters, or from bodies of 
men. If, under the fair plea, that, having altered their opi- 
nions on the thorough conviction of their judgments, they 
muft in confcience alter their conduct, who knows not how 
little credit would be given to fuch profeffions, and with 
what foul reproaches they muft be ftigmatifed for their fup- 
pofed apoftacy ? But, 4 what public ftation, in any free Go- 
vernment, can any man fill either with credit or comfort to 
himfelf, who may be deterred from doing his duty by the 
apprehenfion of fuch reproaches ? The diftinguiihed per- 
fons here alluded to are not afraid to brave imputations in- 
finitely more ferious and aweful than thofe which they thus 
hope to (hun : for, whilft by fome miferable fophiftries 
they perfift in throwing all the blame of the American in- 
furrelion on the nation againft which that people rofe, they 
are at war with France for having acled precifely the fame 
part. It is beyond even Mr. Burke's abilities to (hew, that, 
in point of principle, there is a made of difference between 
the American revolution and the French rebellion *. 


; From this heavy charge of a fatal inconfiftency, this great writer has 
attempted to defend himfelf, and thofe who thought and adted with him, 
in his Addrefs to the Old Whigs, p. 37. /This defence confifts chiefly in. 
his avowal of his difbelief, that the Americans " rebelled merely in order 
" to enlarge their liberty." If by Americans he means, as no doubt he 
does, the great body of the people of America, I alfo profefs to difbcheve 
tlic charge,/' But I do not, like him, reft rry difbeJicf on the difavov. 



That men of the mofl eminent characters, men confpicu- 
cms for their rank, ftation, and abilities, fhould, in points of 
fuch moment, have been fo inconfiftent as to defend in one 
inftance the fame principles and conduct which in another 
perfe&ly fimilar they condemn, and mould do fo without 
incurring any reproach by it, is a feature of the times on. 
which no wife and good man can contemplate with fatif- 
faUon. But even fuch eminent inconfiftency becomes in- 
fignificant, and of little moment, when compared with that 
of thofe perfons, neither lefs numerous nor lefs refpetable> 
who, after fupporting the war for many years with inflexible 
conftancy, now, all at once, without any material change of 
circumftances, changed fides , and with a new Miniftry 
adopted new principles. The triumph which, at the Peace, 


Dr. Franklin, or any perfons of his defci iption : even whilft I admit that 
Dr. Franklin might he, and moft probably was, perfe&ly fmcere in the 
regret he expreffed on the profpeft of the difunion of the two countries. 
I doubt not it might be proved that Governor Livingftone alfo, who, under 
an aflumcd title, avowed his predile&ion for the independence of America, 
v.-ould, in any converfarion where it fuited his purpofe to aflfeft an attach- 
ment to Great Britain, have exprefied himfelf with not lefs ardour, though 
poffibly with lefs fincerity, than Dr. Franklin did. To have come at the 
truth, Mr. Burke fhould have converfed with men of both parties, and 
above all with difinterefted men, much more than he did ; and fhould 
alfo have brought their declarations to that only unequivocal ftandard of 
fincerity, their actions. Had he done this, he would have found that the 
bulk of the people of America were as innocent of any premeditated 
purpofe of revolting, as the people of England, properly fo called, were of 
abetting them in their revolt. But whilft this ftatementleflens their guilt, 
it probably aggravates their folly. Owing to an unhappy concurrence of x 
Yario'js caufes, they futfered themfelves to be made the dupes of a few 
ilefperate democrats in both countries, who thus mifled them (as it is the 
h :-.}<} fate of the people always to be mifled) merely that they might be 
made their ftepping-ftones into power. 

Mr. Burkc's pretence, that the Americans' afted on the defeafive, is a 
fallacy in argument, which he fhould have fcorncd. They, that is to fay, 


P R P A C E. 

America gained over the Parent State, was hardly more com- 
plete, or greater, than that which Oppofition now alfo gained 
over the former friends of Government. An enemy in open 
war not unfrequently fhews his lenity, or his prudence, by 
enlifting and attaching to his own armies fuch deferters or 
captives as he finds difpofed and qualified : and this was the 
policy of the Oppofition now become poflefled of power. 
That the Minifter himfelf, and the many independent and 
highly refpe&able members of Parliament, who, whilft there 
was any profped of fuccefs, wifely and virtuoufly fupported 
his adminiftration, and that part of it in particular which 
affected America, becoming unwife and unvirtuous at the 
very moment when firmnefs would have mod become them, 
ihould fufFer themfelves to be either bullied or overawed into 
a {ataLdgrcliftion of their_pLrinriplrSi. is an initancej)f_hiiman 
infirmity on which, jealous for the reputation of virtue and 

their demagogues, declared that they ought not, and therefore they would 
not, be taxed by the Parent State : and this declaration they refolved to 
defend, and did defend, even at the hazard of a rebellion. Juft fo the de- 
magogues in France declared, that they would no longer be governed by 
a king, nor have any religion in their land ; and thefe declarations they 
are now defending) at the hazard of the peace of the world. But do they 
therefore * aft on the defenfive ?" 

Confulering the confcffed fcantinefs of all human knowledge even at 
it's utmoft extent, we cannot but be furprifed that men of eftabliflied re- 
putation for wifdom Ihould think it any impeachment of their general 
judgment to own that in one inftance they were miftaken. Had Mr. Burke 
prefaced his Reflections on the French Revolution with an acknowledge- 
ment of his having been in an error refpecting that of America, ages to 
come, as well as the prefent, would have blcfled his memory. Inftead of 
admiring him, as we now do, only as the firft orator and firft writer of his 
age, had his fair fame never been tarnilhed by his ftooping to be the par- 
tifan of Oppofitions of various characters and views, and the abettor of the 
American revolt, we mould have venerated him as a man equally diftin- 
guiflied for political wifdom and political integrity, 

b virtuous 

P 11 E F A C E. 

virtuous men, I reflect with forrow and frame. But that 
the meii of whom I am now fpeaking mould have been fo 
loft to all proper fenfe of dignity of character, as tamely to 
fubmit to be handed down to pofterity, either as the weak 
tools of a weak miniftry, or the venal and corrupt tools of a 
corrupt miniftry, and this too when the means of a complete 
vindication were in their own hands*, is fuch an inflance of 
unconcern about honed fame as could have occurred only 
in this eighteenth century. V 

This complete vindication, however, was to be hoped for 
only from a fair, clear, and full expofition of facts, fuppovted 
by authentic documents. To fuch documents none but men 
in office, or thofe to whom they give permimon, can have 
accefs. They were long in the pofieflion of a man of adequate 
talents for any undertaking > and from him the world was 
long encouraged to look for fuch a detail of the event as in 
point of authority mult have been unrivalled. The perfon 
here alluded to was the Noble Secretary of the American de- 
partment , whofe literary attainments did not difcredit the 
name he bore, though it has long been a favourite one with 
the Mufes f , Whether hef was difcouraged by forefeeing 
that fuch a publication would neceflanly be unpopular, and 
the more fo from its being unanfwerable or by the unpopu- 
larity of his own character, which, during a large portion of 
his life, expofed him to the mod unrelenting and (I fmcerely 
believe) unmerited perfecution which any man of rank has 
experienced fmce the days of Ariftides I am not enabled to 
fay : but the Public has infinite reafon to regret that he was 
put afide from his purpofe. 

That fatal indifference with refpect to public opinion, (not 
to call it by an harfher name,) which fo eminently charac- 

* By the publication of official papers. 
f Sackville. 


tenfed the beft-humoiired and be ft -beloved Minifter we have 
ever known, led the late Earl of Guildford to fhut his ears 
againft every fimihr propofal. And hencej in addition to 
all the errors and all the misfortunes of his adminiftration, 
he is gone to his grave under an indelible fligma of having 
been the great caufe of the lofs of America. That his own 
filence on this point, together with an injunction of filence on 
all over whom he was fuppofed to have any influence, was an 
article exprefsly ftipulated for in the conditions of that myf- 
terious coalition, of which the true hiftory is perhaps but little 
known, I confefs, there is no direct evidence to prove. But, 
at fome future period, a diligent collector of recondite hiftory, 
it is poflible, may arife and find materials for Memoirs of 
the Secret Tranfadions of the Adminiftration of Lord North; 

* s 

and it may then be known why and how America was loft, " 
and what the motives were which induced fo wife and good a 
man as Lord North confefledly was to fubmit to bear all the 
blame of it. Pofterity may then fmile to find, that many of 
thofe mighty events, of which we are now fo perplexed to 
find the fprings, turned on points as frivolous as (it is fcarcely 
poflible they ihould be more frivolous than) many of thofc 
which not long fmce were laid open to public view by 
Lord Melcombe's Diary. 

After the Grand Rebellion, and even after the Revolution 
of 1688, different partifans of the parties which then divided 
and diftracled the empire (with the view, no doubt, of vindi- 
cating their refpeHve caufes and themfelves) each published 
hiftories of their own. It is no wonder that their accounts 
are often difcordant and contradictory: yet, as the Public 
was thus enabled to compare the various fentiments and 
flatements of each party, it was at leaft eafier to form fome 
judgment on which fide the truth lay. This has not been 
the cafe with refpect to the American difpute. Whilft it 
was depending, each party made hardly lefs ufe (or to lefs 

b 2 purpofe) 

3? P R E' F A C E. 

purpofe) of the pen, than they did of the fword :: I nryfclf 
poffefs (I believe, not fewer than) forty volumes of mifcel- 
laneous pamphlets which were written, pro and con, before 
and during the continuance of the conteft. But the fates of 
the two parties in this literary warfare were as different a3 
they were in the field. In both refpects, victory very gene- 
rally reftetl with the Britons-, whilft all the advantages of 
f iclory attached to the Americans. Loyalty and loyal men 
gained nothing but horiour, either by their fuperior prowefs, 
or fuperior (kill. Since the determination of the war, the 
conduct of the two contending parties has continued to be 
parked by the fame ftriking difference of character. Thofe 
with whom fuccefs remained, have omitted no opportunity 
of relating the hiftory in their own favour ; whilft, (as though 
this had been one of the conditions of the Peace,) inftead of 
contradicting flatements which are palpably partial and falfe, 
the humbled champions of the defeated party think it to their 
credit to do all they can to confirm them. 

The only hiftories which, with any propriety, can be faid 
to be in the interefl of this country, are thofe which have been 
written by Britifh Generals, or by perfons in their confidence. 
The former are entirely exculpatory compiled on purpofe 
to vindicate their own characters and conduct. This too 
feems to be the point chiefly armed at by Captain Anbury and 
Mr. Stedman : the one is a vindication of General Burgoync, 
and the other of the Marquis Cornwallis. All that they have 
written on the fubject, however, relates only to particular 
periods and parts of the war ; and are wholly military. Of 
,eourfe, like the hiftorians in the intereft,of America,, they 
Iiardly touch on that great point, in which alone mankind in 
general are materially interefted ; I mean, the caufes and 
:confequences of the rupture. Add to all this, thefe hiftories 
Ay our military loyalifts, however refpettable in other points 
fcf yiew> lofe not a little of their weight by being fo often 



(not indeed on points of great moment) in direct contradiction 
to each other. Whigs and Tories, as Rebels and Loyalifts 
were uniformly called in America, (thefe two well-known 
terms of difficult definition having there, merely through the 
natural fenfe of the people, found a practical and proper ex- 
plication,) hardly differ more in dating their rights and their 
duties, than General Tarleton and Lieutenant Mackenzie, or 
(to go (till higher) than Sir Henry Clinton and the Marquis 
Cornvvallis, differ in their narratives. 

I can account for thefe imperfections refpecting any hif- 
tories of the American revolt, only by referring them to the 
unpopularity of the attempt. This has been fo great as to 
have deterred, it is faid, the celebrated hiftoriographer of 
Scotland, from adding to his hiftory of South America, one 
much more likely to be interefting to Britons, that I mean of 
the North. And, whilft this fo much dreaded unpopularity 
continues to be directed and managed (as well by the mem- 
bers and friends of adminiftration as by their opponents) 
with fuch fkill and effect as to amount nearly to a prohibition 
I own I do not fee how the fate and fortune of American 
Loyalifts (whofe reputation, which is now their all, is fo ma- 
terially interefted in the truth of hiftory) have been better in 
this refpect than thofe of the Jefuits, who were crufhed with 
fo high an hand, and with fuch extreme rigour and cruelty, 
as to have almoft difgraced the Chriftian name. When they 
were fuppreffed, the fame Bull that pronounced the annihi- 
lation of their order, forbade them, or any of their friends, on 
pain of excommunication, to utter or write a fyllable in their 

With all the encouragement that the moft liberal Govern- 
ment could give, and all the hopes that an intelligent, tem- 
perate, candid, and indulgent Public could infpire, the com- 
piling fuch an hiftory of this event as the occafion calls for 
mud be difficult. The controverfy, in its origin, progrefs, 

b 3 and 


and termination, was entirely an affair of party : and who 
knows not how next to impoflible it is to develop truth 
amid thofe mifreprefentations with which party colours every 
proceeding in which it takes part ? Befides, in a Government 
formed as ours is, no man poflefling either the talents or the 
integrity requifite in an hiftorian can be wholly neutral in 
his principles. Every man capable of forming an opinion 
has fome leaning ; and is, in fome degree, either a Whig or 
a Tory. Now the American revolution was clearly a ftruggle 
for pre-eminence between Whigs and Tories : and therefore, 
in fpeaking of them, the hiftorian will unavoidably give fome 
preference, either to the one or the other, according as ho 
himfelf is difpofed. Were it even poflible that he could 
fleer his courfe fo evenly as, feeing much to blame in both, 
and little to commend in either, to beftow his praife and 
difpraife with real impartiality, the beft returns he could look 
for would be the being neglected by both. 

To a truly learned, intelligent and conscientious man, 
however, thefe difficulties, though confefiedly great, are not 
infurmountable. Whenever fuch an one fhall attempt this 
hiftory, which is fufficiently copious in inftrulive and in- 
terefting matter, I venture to foretell, that though his fuccefs 
may not be complete, yet he will not totally fail. Calling 
forth all his beft powers, and keeping down (as far as frail 
nature will enable him to keep down) all low prejudices, 
however deep-rooted and inveterate, he will, with a fteady 
and unbiaffed compofure, purfue his purpofe of examining 
the pretenfions of each party ; and, diverting their jarring and 
contradictory accounts of each other, as well as their other 
accounts, of all party-colourings, he will, if pofTible, afcertain 
the truth and, when afcertained, dare to ftate it, whether it 
be for or againft the party whofe caufe he efpoufes. 

To affift (as far as fo obfcure a perfon, and one of fuch 
{nimble pretences, can hope to aflift) future enquirers in this 


PREFACE. xxiii 

arduous inveftigation, this Volume of Sermons is now, with 
all due deference, fubmitted to the Public, Merely as Ser- 
mons, or even as Political Treatifes, in themfelves, and uncon- 
nefled with the circumftances under which they were written, 
being the productions of a private clergyman, who began to 
think ferioufly on fuch fubjects only when he was called upon 
to write upon them, I am fenfible their claim to the public 
attention is (lender. Had they not, however, feemed to 
myfelf, and to fome kind friends to whom they have been 
{hewn in MS. to contain fome information which has not 
el fe where been noticed, but which may help to elucidate a 
difficult but important period of our hiftory, they would never 
have been drawn from that oblivion to which they had long; 
been configned. 

Neither the many fatal confequences which have refulted 
to this country by the difmemberment of the empire, and flill 
more from the manner in which that difmemberment was 
effected ; nor even that yet more awful leffbn which the 
world has fince been taught by that more fatal exemplification 
of the effects of falfe principles, th French Revolution ; 
have fo effectually imprefled the minds of mankind with a 
fenfe of the danger of liilening to fuch doctrines inculcated 
by fuch men, as to render this farther warning unneceflary. 
Tt mud be the world's own fault, if, difcouraged by the fub- 
jecVs being now fuppofedto be forgotten, by the unpopularity 
of the principles maintained in thefe Difcourfes, or by the 
acknowledged feeblenefs of their execution, feme benefit be 
not derived from them. For fuch a feafon of tranquillity and 
good humour, when happily there fubfifts a perfect good 
underftanding between the two countries, I have long wiflied ; 
from a perfuafion that in no other could a publication, which 
ftudioufly avoids the flattering of either party by wantonly 
vilifying the other, hope for a calm and candid confideration. 
The unpopularity of my principles cannot, I fhould hope, be 


fairly obje&ed to by any man who really loves truth ; becaufe 
it is at lead fome proof that my intentions are fincere, and 
that I am in earned : and though it be true that there is no- 
thing particularly attradive 01 alluring in the compofition of 
thefeDifcourfes, yet, as that may in fome degree perhaps arife 
from their fo often adverting to minute and ordinary fafts and 
circumftances not likely to be noticed by other writers, even 
this defect may be pardoned by thofe who are lefs folicitous 
to be amufed than edified, and are defirous thoroughly to 
underftand the fubjet. When, for inftance, the future 
hiftorian of the American revolt mall recollect (and the firft 
of the following Sermons can hardly fail to bring it to his re- 
collection) how muchjthe Continental Colonies were favoured 
by the terms of the Peace of 1763^ he will alfo recollect with 
how much unmerited obloquy thofe wife men were afperfed, 
who then forefaw and foretold that it would not be long be- 
fore the Cplonifts would be led to think of independency. 
The reafon they gave for this opinion was, that, by the ceffion 
of Canada, and the total expulfion of the French from the 
Continent, the Britiih Colonifts, no longer having an enemy 
on their frontiers, no longer wanted a powerful friend to pro- 
ject them, and would therefore no longer court that protec- 
tion by a dutiful and loyal conduct, j Adopting, as I did with 
great eagernefs, when that Sermon was written, the common 
but ill-founded notion, that a people's love and habitual at- 
tachments were fufficient pledges of their allegiance, I now 
take fhame to myfelf that I was then as loud and vehement as 
others in declaiming againft, what I thought, the injuftice of 
fuch fufpicions. 

In like manner, the careful enquirer after truth will fee, in 
the fucceeding Difcourfes, how (juft before the rupture) the 
country was rent and diftrad~ted by fchifms, and by various 
violent ebullitions of fanaticifm : bow generally, and with 
virulent perfeverance, Epifcopacy was oppofed, for no 



reafon whatever befides that of thwarting and irritating thofe 
who, being known to be friends to the Church, were con-* 
eluded to be alfo friends to the Crown : how much it was the 
famion, at the period in queftion, for people of all ranks to 
fpeculate, philofophize, and project Utopian fchemes of re- ' 
formation ; which, as it was conducted in America, led, as 
regularly as ever any caufe produces its correfponding effect, 
firft, to the demolition of the Church, as that, in its turn, no 
lefs certainly led to the overturning the State : how very in- 
fufficiently education was provided for; and that, as though 
it's fcantinefs had not been an evil fufficiently lamentable, the 
little which the people were taught was of a kind to do per- 
haps more harm than good : hoiu^ without any apparent new 
caufe, and certainly without any frem provocation, all the 
old prejudices againft Papifts 3 ven more than againfl Popery, 
were all at once revived ; and the people of that communion 
forced to forego their principles, (at lead in points relating to 
government,) that they might preferve their properties from 
confifcation, and their perfons from exile : and finally, how 9 
when at length the difpute was matured into a war, it was 
conducted with fuch perfevering, deep, and dreadful policy, 
as to fhew that thofe who directed the ftorm were neither 
overtaken by it, nor unprepared for it ; and that in ihort 
the revolt, however unexpected by, and unwelcome to, th 
great body of the people, was no more than had been planned 
and refolyed on by their leaders many years before it took 


* Among many proofs which might be adduced to fhew that it was the 
fixed purpofe of a certain party in America to " throw off the yoke," (as 
they called it,) as foon as ever it ihould be in their power, the Reader is 
referred to the following extraft from No. 5. in the American Whig. 
This was a periodical paper, aimed at firft chiefly againfl Epifcopacy ; but 
which alfo incidentally attacked all the ftrong holds of Government. It 
\vas written altogether by Diffenters ;aad, principally, by Mr. Livingfton, 



Weighing well all thefe circumftances, and comparing 
them with occurrences in other ages and countries, as fimilar, 
or nearly fimilar, as any which hiftory furnifhes, the future 
eftimatcr of the great political event now under confider- 
ation (and without fome accurate knowledge of this no clear 
judgment can be formed of it's acknowledged and moft dif- 
tinguifhed offspring, the French revolution) will be better 
able to appreciate the wifdom, or the want of wifdom, that 
was (hewn both in attempting and effecting it. In the 
courfe of fuch a comparison, a truth of great importance 
will be ftrongly imprefied on his mind ; which is this : that, 
in fimilar circumftances and fituations, mankind continue to 
be what they have always been ; and, with no other changes 


one of the moft eminent of them, who has fince been one of the Republican 
Governors of New-York : and it was published about nine years before the 
revolt took place. 

" Courage, then, Americans ! The finger of God points out a mighty 
" empire to your fons. We need not be difcouraged. The angry cloud 
" will foon be difperfed. The day dawns, in which this mighty empire 
(l is to be laid by the eftablifhment of a regular American Conititution. 
" All that has hitherto been done feems to be little befide the collection of 
" materials for the conftruclion of the glorious fabric. 'Tis time to put 
" them together. The transfer of the European part of the family is fo 
vaft, and our growth fo fwift, that, before /even years foil over our heads, 
** the firft (lone muft be laid. Peace or war, famine or plenty, poverty or 
*' affluence, in a word, no circumftance, whether profperous or adverfe, 
44 can happen to our Parent ; nay, no conduft of hers, whether wife, or im~ 
" prudent no pqffible temper of hers, whether kind or crofs-grained will 
" put a Jlop to this building. There is no contending with Omnipotence : 
" and the pre-difyofitions are fo numerous and well adapted to the rife of 
" America, that our fuccefs is indubitable." 

After this explicit avowal by one who was as deep in the councils of the 
party, as he was active in promoting their meafures, are we ftill to be in- 
Iblted with the incredulity of our patriots, who wifli to perfuade us, that 
fuch purpofes were but " in the fecret thoughts of fome of their leaders* " 

* Mr. Burke 's Appeal to the New and the Old Whigs, p. 37, 


PREFACE.' xxvii 

than merely fuch as times and places may fuggeft, continue 
to act the fame part which they have always done. They 
flill are jealous of power, flill fond of change, and ftili 
eafily perfuaded to believe that they are not fo well govern- 
ed as they ought to be. Thefe are the ftanding charater- 
iflics of mankind, verified by almoft every page of every hif- 
tory. Availing themfelves of thefe propenfities, ambitious 
and factious men have always found it eafy, and do flill find 
it eafy, to miflead multitudes (wifer, it may be, and better 
than themfelves) to throw away real and fubilantial happi- 
nefs, in the hope of obtaining that which, after all, is but 
imaginary. Viewed in this light, I am not fure that I was 
right in declaring the revolt of America to have been almoft 
without a parallel in the hiftory of the world. In all it's 
leading features, whether confidered in it's origin, it's con- 
duel:, or it's end, \ it was but a counterpart of the grand re- 
bellion in this country in the laft century :i and, as far as the 

ajnd who, with fuch evidence flaring them in the face, perfift to alledge, 
that America was driven and forced to revolt by the opprefiive meafures 
of fome Minifters of the Crown of Great Britain ? Ill-fated Minifters! 
doomed to ferve a country in which when under your aufpices things 
go well no praife accrues to you, whilft nothing can Ihelter you from the 
blame of every thing that is adverfe. Let America revolt, it is the fault 
of Minifters : let France, in her phrenfy, declare war againft us, and carry 
it on by means more horrid than pofterity, if not fraternized by the French, 
will readily credit, that too is owing to the Cabinet of Great Britain : let 
the Loyalifts in France be encouraged, or our own Jacobins be difcouraged, 
it is all matter of blame to our Minifters : in fine, let Ireland be abfurd 
and rebellious ; or let our Tailors, infected with the infatuation of the times, 
be mutinous, and endanger the life-blood of the nation, Minifters and 
Minifters only deferve all the blame. " Quis legem tulit ? Rullus. 
<' Quis ma jorum partem populi fuffragiis privavit ? Rullus. Quis comitiis 
" prsefuit ? Rullus. Quis tribus, quas voluit, vocavit, nullo cuftode fbr- 
' titus ? Rullus. Qujs decemviros, quos voluit, renuntiavit? Idem Rul* 
f Jus," &c, Cicero, Oratio ada. pro Lege Agraria. 


xxvm PREFACE, 

philofophy of hiftory is concerned, that of Lord Clarendon 
is perhaps as good as any that could yet be compiled of the 
American revolution*. 

I have felecled for this volume fuch Difcourfes as fcemec! 
to myfelf mod likely to fliew (in a way that can hardly be 
fufpe&ed of mifreprefentation) the (late of two of the moil 
valuable Colonies, juft before, and at the time of the breaking 
out of the troubles. And I am willing to flatter myfelf, 

* Claffical readers, it is probable, have often been reminded of the flrik- 
ing refemblance there is between the American revolt, and the quarrel 
which took place between the people of Corcyra and Corinth, as related 
by Thucydides. Had Dr. Franklin been a reader of that immortal hif- 
torian, when he was fent on an embaffy to folicit the alliance and the aid 
of France, no injuftice would have been done to the pretenfions of his 
country, had he ufed the very words which the Corcyraean ambaflador, 
on a fimilar occafion, addrefTed to the Athenians, "HV Si Xeywc-iv j 
toy; <r<f>THj afcoinov^ &c.~ Thucyd. Hiftor. .lib. I. 34. Editio Bipont. 
vol. i. p. 52. 

; If, farther, they tax with a breach of injuftice your prefuming to in- 
" terfere with their Colonies, let them learn, that every Colony, whilft 
" ufed in the proper manner, paycth honour and regard to it's Mother 
' State ; but, when treated with injury and violence, is become an alien. 
" They are not fent out to be the flaves, but to be the equals of thofe who 
" remain behind." Smith's Translation of Thucydides, vol. i. p. 29. 

In thefe words we find the effcnce of all the befl .arguments that ever 
were or could be advanced on the occafion in behalf of the Americans. 
The reply of the Corinthian ambafladors is replete with arguments not lefs 
appofite to the Mother Country : "AWWXW ' o M m;, a^ta-reift T fcawavroff, &c. 
Thucyd. ut fupra, p. 58. 

" For, though planted by us, they have even difowned their allegiance 
" to us, and now wage open war againft us, pleading that they were not 
11 fent abroad to be maltreated and opprefled. We alfo aver, in our own 
" behalf, that neither did we fend them to receive their injurious requitals, 
" but to retain them in lawful dependence, and to be honoured and re- 
41 verenced by them. But though we had actually tranfgreffed, it would 
*' have been quite decent on their part to have fhewn condefcenfion when 
we were angry," &c. Smith's Translation, as above, p. 33. 



that every attentive reader will find in them fomething to 
illuftrate the great event to which they chiefly relate. It is 
not within their compafs, nor do I pretend to give more 
than an outline of the hiftory : that I may, however, render 
even this ftetch as perfedt as it's nature will admit of, I will 
here, in addition to the caufes which I conceive to have led 
to the revolt, which have already been adverted to either in 
this Preface or in the Difcourfes, fugged fome others, merely 
becaufe, though by no means infignificant, they are lefs 
likely to engage the attention of other writers. 

Unfortunately that fpirit of Republicanifm, which, afllim- 
ing the fpecious name of Reform, overturned the Conftitu- 
tion of Great Britain in 1648, though checked at the Refto- 
ration, was not extirpated, but has ever fmce fafcinated the 
Britifh \vorld under the not lefs impofmg name of Liberty. > 
A large portion of this turbulent fpirit was carried over to 
the Northern Colonies of America by the firft Puritan emi- 
grants, who, not having the courage to defend their princi- 
ples in England where they originated, when Englishmen 
grew tired of them, tranfplanted them into a more genial 
foil ; and thus prefervcd them from that humiliating reverfe 
of fortune which was experienced by their brethren in the 
Mother Country on the re-eftablimment of Monarchy. 
How they have thriven by tranfplantation, the revolution of 
America mews. An able writer *, who knew the New- 
Englanders well, gives this teftimony of them : " In all the 
" late American difturbances, and in every attempt againfl 
" the authority of the Britifti Parliament, the people of 
MaiTachufet's Bay have taken the lead. Every new move 
" towards independence has been theirs ; and in every frefli 
"mode of refiftance againft the law, they have firft fet 

: * See " A Short View of the Hiftory of the New*England Colonies," 

&c. by Ifrael MaucUiit. in 1776, p. c, 



the example, and then ifliied out admonitory letters 
* to the other Colonies to follow it *." The firft fettlers 
of all the New-England Governments were, in general, 


* As the ideas it fuggefts agree with this reprefentation, and are an 
ominous atteftation of it's truth, it dcferves to be noticed and remembered, 
that the firft firing againft the King's troops in America was from a meet- 
ing houfe in Maffachufet's Bay. The eminent forwardncfs of that peo- 
ple in rebellious refiftance is farther confirmed by the ftudiec? denial of a 
noted writer in the caufe of Independency f. How can they (i. e. the 
' Tories) in the face of the fun, charge all our troubles on the New Eng- 
' land Prefbyterians J j troubles which or'ginully began |j, and have all 
" along been kept up, by a wicked adminiftration and a venal parliament \ 
** To make them the hatchers of mifchicfs occafioned by unconftitutionai 
* Acts of Parliament, and the only fomenters of our juft oppofition, which 
a Pennfylvania Quaker, a Maryland or Virginia Churchman, did more to 
* effect tii a n all the other men on the Continent put together, is cruelty 
in, the extreme." If this man had adduced all the refolves of all the 
committees of all the New-England townfhips denying this charge, I could 
not have been more thoroughly convinced of its being well founded, than 
I am by this his evaflve manner of parrying it with a declamatory recri- 
mination. To implicate Churchmen in the general blame is an old fliift 
of republican policy. It was thus that Nero fet Rome on fire, and then 
charged it on the Chriftians : and it was thus, too, that the Puritans of the 
laft century > when themfelvcs had brought the Royal Martyr to the block, 
impudently laid the blame on their own fpawn, the Independents : 

" A butcher thus firlt binds a goat, 

Then fends his boy to cut his throat." Granvillc, Lord Lanfdownc. 

To this fentiment, Durell, in his " Hiftoria Rituum Sanfbe Ecck-fcc 
Anglicana?, cap. i. p. 4, nlfo accedes : " Fateor, h atrocis illius tragedije 
" tot aclus fuerint, quot ludicrarurn eiTc folent, poftremum fere indepcn- 
" dcnuum fuifTt : adeo ut non acute magisquam vere dixerit L'Eftrangius 
44 nofter, Regem primo a Preftyterianis intercmtum, Carolum deinde ab 
41 Independentibus intcrfeftum." 
J[ ^^ To 

f Payne. 

| This writer prob'tbly does not know the difference ; however, the New- 
Bnglanders are, in general, not Prelbyterians, but Independents. 
l| Piecnaftic and pretty^ 


Independents, and a majority of their defcendants are ftill 
the fame ; for I conceive there is no material difference 
between Independents and Congregationalifts, as they arc 
fometimes called. This pertinacity in principles, which, ac- 
cording to Rapin, were, " as to religion, contrary to thofc 
a of all the reft of the world ," and " with regard to the 
" State, they abhorred Monarchy, and approved only a Re- 
" publican Government f ;" is a very ftriking feature in the 
character of a people. Their politics, their cuftoms, their 
religious opinions, (excepting, perhaps, in the article of 
witchcraft,) their language, and their manners, are all, 
with very little variation, what thofe of their forefathers 
were, when, diflatisfied with every fyflem of religion they 
could find in Europe, they migrated to America; where, 
Moflieim fays, not without fome ambiguity of expreflion, 
<4 they claim the honour of carrying the firft rays of divine 
" truth, and of beginning a work that has ftnce been continued 
" with fuck pious zen!, and SUCH ABUNDANT FRU1T\" 

To this general charge of difaffctlion in New- En gland, I am proud to 
own there were, and are, many honourable exceptions. Neither is it to 
be denied that there were many (alas ! very many) Churchmen, both in 
Virginia and in Maryland, who, unmindful of their own principles, became 
rebels juft as, through the fame common frailry of our nature, there are, 
all over Chriftendom, profelfing Chriftians who are immoral men. Yet, 
frail and wicked as we all are, blefled be God there aas never yet been 
any fyflem of religion which approved of rebellion as rebellion ! Even in 
New England there were many Diffenters from the Church of England, 
many who were Independents, of approved loyalty. Worth fo diftinguilh- 
ed is entitled to peculiar rcfpcdtj being not lefs extraordinary than it would 
be to find, in a field overrun with weeds, here and there a few vigorous 
{talks of ufeful plants mooting up and flourilhing in ipite of the general 
malignity either of the climate or the foil. 

f Rapin's Hiftory of England, vol. ii, p. 514, folio edit. 

+ Machine's Tranflation of Moflicim's Ecclefiaftical Hiftory, vol. iv. 
p. 2? 9, gvo edit.- 



To excite fuch a people to rebellion, for the purpofe of fet-* 
ting up an independent commonwealth, was but to call forth 
into action the firft and ftrongeft principles of which they 
felt the influence. Accordingly, when the leading men of 
the Oppofition in the Britiih Parliament found it neceflary 
for the fuccefs of their fchemes (the chief of which I fm- 
cerely believe went no farther than that they mould fucceed, 
and alfo difplace the Miniftry) that Government (hould be 
cmbarrafled, they could not long be at a lofs where to look 
for proper inftruments to efFecl: their purpofe. Fatally for 
themfelves, as well as for the peace of the empire, the Colo- 
nifts (by their being able to produce matter apparently new, 
by their diilance and ftrength, and, above all, by the temper 
of the times, as well as by their own peculiar character) 
held forth profpec"ls of an oppofition and refiftance of fuch 
weight, as well might fliake any adminiftration to it's 



: " That the Colonies were directly excited to rebellion, either by oppo- 
1 jfition in general, or by. any .particular members of it, (though I firmly be* 
li^ve the fact,) I own I am not able to prove, at lealt by any fuch. evidence 
as would be requiftte in a court of law. Many hiflorical facts of great 
moment are thought to be fufficiently eftablifhed, by its being proved, that 
it is much more probable they fhould be true, than not true : and there 
arc, I believe, many cafes in which even courts of law a'llow a combination 
of congruous circumftances to go farther, and with more certainty, to the 
proof of a fact, than even ocular dcmonflration. With refpect to the 
matter of fact now under confide ration, neither it's truth nor falfhood can 
be proved otherwife than by probabilities. My believing that the Oppo- 
fition in England ftirred up the revolt in America, or, however, very ma- 
terially contributed to it, I readily admit adds but little, if any thing, to 
the proofs of the fact ; neither does another perfon's difbelieving it dif- 
prove it. I can only affirm, that I did not take up the opinion on grounds 
which appeared to me to be flight, nor merely on public report. I well 
remember, that, at the time, letters purporting to be written by perfons of 
no ordinary name and note in the Britifh Senate, were handed about, and 
Ihewn, to me, with many others. In thcfc letters the people of America 



Of the thirteen confederated colonies, however, four only 
were peopled by avowed independents. Admitting, then, 
that the defection of thofe four has been fatisfa&orily ac- 
counted for by the encouragement which the difcontented 
oppofitionifts in England gave to their old principles and 
prejudices, it ftill remains to be afked, what were the induce- 
ments and the caufes which led others not fo circumftanced 
into rebellion ? This is a queftion of great moment, to which 
I can hope to give a fatisfa&ory anfwer only by adverting to 
various detached and unnoticed circumftances which feem to 
bear on it ; and which therefore I will now endeavour to 
collect and bring forward in fome of the enfuing pages of 
this Preface. 

were not only encouraged, but exhorted, (not indeed, in fo many words, 
direftly to revolt or rebel, but to do, however, what I apprehend meant 
and was intended to mean the fame thing, that is) to refill Acts of the Britifh 
Legiflature. But neither csn I prove, that thefe tetters were not forged : 
feveral, I know, or at leaft I believe, were forged ; but feveral, I have equal 
reafon to believe, were not forged, as they were addrefled toperfonsof fome 
confideration in the Colonies, who correfponded with members of the Britifh 
Parliament ; and had, befides, all the other requifite marks of authenticity. 
They certainly were not inconfiftent with the characters of the men 
whofe names were annexed to them. Any other proofs, the cafe feems 
neither to admit of, nor to-require. For, after all, what more was there 
in writing fuch private letters, (written, moft probably, on purpofe to be 
made public,) than there was in the long fuccefllon of violent fpeeches 
made in Parliament, by many members of Opposition, in defence of the re- 
fiftance of America ? The great Earl of Chatham himfelf is reported to 
have faid, in his place in Parliament, that he rejoiced that America had 
refilled : a declaration for which, in any government poflTcfTeJ cither of 
energy or vigour, he would undoubtedly have been impeached. 

" It is not to be denied, that there was, in all thofc Parliaments, feveral 
" paflfages, and dljlemperedfpeeches^ of parrcnlar perfons, not fit for the dig- 
" nity and honour of thofe places, and unfuitable to the reverence due to 

* his Majefty and his councils.'' Lord Clarendon's Hiflory, vol. i. Svo 

edit, book i. p. c. 



That a people in full poffeflion and enjoyment of all the 
peace and all the fecurity which the beft government in the 
world can give *, mould, at the inftigation of another peo- 
ple, for whom they entertained an hereditary national dif- 
efteem, confirmed by their own perfonal diflike, fuddenly and 
unprovoked, and in contradiction to all the opinions they had 
heretofore profefled to hold on the fubjecl of government, 
rum into a civil war againfl a nation they loved, without 

J * The dcfcription which Lord Clarendon gives of the unparalleled pro- 
fperity which this nation enjoyed juft before the Grand Rebellion, admirable 
tor it's eloquence, and inftructive on account of the awful confequences of 
which he iuppofes it to have been the forerunner, is not lefs applicable to 

" England was generally thought fccure with the advantages 

" of it's own climate; the Country rich; the Church flourilhing with 
" learned and extraordinary men; Trade increafed to that degree that we 
" were the exchange of Chriftendom : and for a complement of all thefe 
*' bit-flings, they were enjoyed by and under a King of the moft harmieis 
" diipofuion, the moft exemplary piety, the greateft fobriety, chaftity, and 
" mercy, that any prince hath been endowed with (God forgive thofe who 
*' have not been fenfible of, and thankful for, thofe endowments !), and 
" who might have faid that which Pericles was proud of upon his death- 
" bed, concerning his citizens, that no Englilhman had ever worn a mourn- 
" ing gown upon his occafion. In a word, many wife men thought it a 
" time wherein thefe two adjuncts, which Ncrva was deified for uniting, 
" Jmperium & Libertas, were as well reconciled as poflible. 

" But all thefe blelfings could but enable, not compel, us to be happy : 
" we wanted that fenfe, acknowledgment and value of our owa happinefs 
" which all but we had ; and took pains to make, when we could not find, 

" ourfclves miferable." Hift. of Rebellion, book i. p. 76. vol. i. 8vo 


Imprcfled with the fame fentiment of the danger arifmg to a State from 
great profperity.the Roman hiftorian,Florus,had before alked, < Qu^se enim 
res alia furores civiles pcrperit quam nimiafelicitas ?" Lib. iii. cap. 12. 
feft. 7. And again: <* Caufa tantae calamitatis eademquae omnium, nhma 
** filidta*." Jd. lib. iv. cap. 2. fe6l. 8. 



Well knowing what caufe of complaint they had, and ftill lefs 
what the object was at which their leaders aimed, (for on 
both thefe points they frequently (hifted their ground,) with- 
out an hope, and almoft without a wifh, of fucceeding, is one 
of thofe inftances of inconfiftency in human conduct which 
are often met with in real life, but which, when fet down in 
a book, feem marvellous, romantic, and incredible. This, 
however, is an unexaggerated defcription of the general tem- 
per of mind which prevailed in the people of Virginia and 
Maryland towards thofe of New-England *. 


' i " The pains which the leading men in the Northern Colonies took to 
engage thofe of Virginia in particular in their long-meditated project of 
independence, could be tfnknown to no man on the fpot, who was duly 
careful to watch all thofe little incidents on. which great events fo often 
turn. Hence, when a Congrefs was refolved on, Mr. Randolph, a Vir- 
ginian, was pitched on to be it's firft Prefident : and hence too, in regular 
fucceffion, the nomination of Mr. Walhington, who alfo was of Virginia, 
to the command of the American army. Both Tacitus and Pliny (indif- 
pofed as the former of thefe great writers certainly was to cenfure popular 
encroachments with any feverity) beftow high praifes on Rufus Virginius 
for having refufed the empire when it was offered to him ; and for having 
declared, be ivouht not take up arms, even again/I a tyrant y till be had legal 
authority fo to do ; thut is to fay, till the Senate ordered him. See Plu- 
tarch's Life of Galba : and fee alfo the mention of this circumftance in 
Melmoth's Tranflation of Pliny's Letters, vol. i. Rufus Virginius, how- 
ever, was not that Roman, whom the Virginian Cincinnatus, or (as his 
countrymen are more proud to call him) the American Fabius, may be 
fuppofed to have made his model. 

Virginia, with a fort of proud pre-eminence, had long been in the habit 
of calling itfelf bis Majejly s ancient dominion. Many of the firft fettlers 
in it were perfons of refpeftable families and connections in the Parent 
State: and their defcendants, along with an high fpirit of loyalty, ftill 
maintained no fmall portion of the fplendid hofpitaiity of the old Englifh 
gentry. Their character therefore among their Siller Colonies was lofty : 
and even their central fituation gave them great influence. The gaining 
over Virginia to the confederacy was, on all thefe accounts, of great mo- 
ment. I do not know that any thing Ciort of their acceffion could or 

c a would- 


The Colonies in general feem to have been circumftanced 
asUzziah is defcribecl to have been by the facred Chroniclerf : 
He was helped imirvelloujly y till he was Jlrong ; but when he was 
Jlrongy his heart was lifted up to his own deftruElion. This has 
been the courfe /in which human affairs have generally run ; 
and this is not an age to look for any preternatural efforts 
either of good fenfe or of virtue. Like an elaftic fpring 
kept down and reflrained from afting by a fuperincumbent 

would have quieted the fears of the other Southern Colonifts refpe&ing 
the rcftlefs fpirits of their fellow -fubjets of the North. All the Middle 
and Southern Colonies (at leaft thofe lying to the South of Pennfylvania) 
were afraid left, when haply by their united efforts they Should have fuc- 
ceeded in Shaking off the yoke of Great Britain, a Northern Army, as was 
the cafe under Cromwell, might give law to-the Continent. There is 
rcafon to believe, that it was this particular apprehenfion which, more than 
any thing elfe, induced General Washington to accept of the command of 
the army when it was offered to him. Thofe perfons who remember, or 
who now have a copy of, a Letter which he wrote at the time, and which 
was printed, to the Independent Companies of his own neighbourhood in 
Fairfax county in Virginia, may alfo remember his alluding in it to this 
very circumftance, there defignated by the terms " a political motive." 
On all thefe contiderations, as well as on account of my own particular 
connexion with Virginia and Maryland, and an undiffembled warm regard 
to many excellent perfons in both of them, which will laft as long as life 
fhall laft, I have always contemplated their defection with peculiar Sorrow. 

" Other devils that fuggeft by treafons, 

" Do botch and bungle up damnation 

" With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd 

" From glittering femblances of piety : 

" 'But he that temper'd you, bade you Stand up, 

" Gave you no inftance why you Should do treafon, 

" Unkfs to dub you with the name of traitor. 

"I will weep for you : 

" For, this revolt of yours, methinks, is like 

*' Another fall of man." 

Shakfpeare, Hen, IV. Acl ii. Sc. 3. 
\ 2 Chron. ch, xxvi. ver. 15, 16. 



weight, in all Governments, thofe who are governed are 
merely prevented from rifmg againft and breaking loofe from 
thofe who govern : but it is " the nature of all Colonies to 
<c afpire after independence, and to fet up for themfelves, as 
" foon as they find that they are able, or think they are able, 
" to fubfift without being beholden to the Mother Coun- 
(( try *." Thofe which belonged to this country were planted 
in imperfection : and this original evil, (if it may be fo called,) 
foflered and cherimed by the fame hand that firft gave it 
root, "grew with their growth, and flrengthened with their 
ftrength." At their firft fettlement, the point chiefly at- 
tended to was the inducing Colonifts to migrate to them. 
A poflibility of their future defection was not forefeen -, nor, 
of courfe, guarded againfl. This was a fundamental error, 
which fhould have been corrected whilft correction was 

Other infant governments, as they have gained experience, 
have difcovered the faults of their inftitutions , and, having 
the means within themfelves, have corrected them. But the 
American Colonies neither had the means nor the inclination 
to redrefs thofe evils in their Conftitutions, which, however 
Howly they might proceed, were fure at length to undermine 
and deftroy them. Too much weight was, from the begin- 
ning, at firft neceflarily perhaps, or at any rate unavoidably, 
thrown into the popular fcale : and every future colonial re- 
gulation rather added to than diminimed it's preponderancy. 
The Parent State (at a diftance, and foothed by fair appear- 
ances, or overawed by the fuppofed difficulty of mending 
what every adminiilration hoped might laft at leaft as long as 
they could hope to remain in power) either faw not, or heeded 
not, the latent mifchief, till at length it broke out with a 
force that was irrefiftible. 

Some blame too, perhaps not a little, mould be attributed 
* Dean Tucker. Traft iv. p. 161. 

c 3 to 


to the Parent State, for herjirrefolution and unfteadinefs in 
her colonial adminiftration^ A very curfory review of the 
hiftory of the Colonies would be fufficient to prove this 
charge. It might furprife us all to obferve what very dif- 
ferent ideas have been entertained by different men on the 
fubject of colonial government ; and that one and the fame 
man has fometimes both thought and fpoke differently con- 
cerning it, accordingly as he was, or was not, fighting under 
the banners of Adminiftration. The fame great Lord 
Chatham, who rejoiced that the Colonifls had refilled Britifh 
Ads of Parliament, had before declared, that a fubject in the 
Colonies mould not be permitted to make even a nail for an 
horfe-fhoe without the confent of the Britifh Legifiature. In 
one inftance' only the Parent State has been uniform :! every 
adminiftration of every reign is marked by feme act calculated 
to improve and aggrandife the .ColoniesJ Authentic lifts of 
&me of the difburfements of the State on this fcore have 
been publimed : they are aftonifhing ; and exceeded only 
by the effects which they have produced. 

That fuch lifts have not been oftentatioufly produced, may 
fairly be inferred from this circumftance, that they have never 
been complete : there has never yet been publimed an ac- 
count of all the pecuniary benefactions, which, during the 
connexion of the two countries, America received from Great 
Britain : there have been no accounts publimed of the large 
aims which from time to time were beftowed on the fchools 
vind colleges of America by individuals and private munifi- 
cence nor of the ftill larger fums annually contributed by 3 
venerable fociety for the fupport of religion in various parts 
of North America. That all mention of fuch things mould 
have been omitted by thofe very hiftorians whofe pages teem 
with tjie bittereft invectives againft Great Britain for her fup- 
pofed oppreflions and cruelties, furely does no credit to their 
liberality. Whilfl both Ram fay and Soules are ftudioufly 



felicitous to hold up to deteftation the harfti treatment which 
fame Americans alledged (though the allegation was fup- 
ported only by Americans) that American prifoners met with 
on board the Britifh prifon-fhips, they make not the lead 
mention of thofe very confiderable fums of money which 
were voluntarily collected by Britifh individuals (of whom 
even the humble writer of thefe pages recollects with fome 
pleafure that he was one) exprefsly for the relief of Ameri- 
can prifoners. 

Moft writers on American topics, as well as the hiftorians 
of the revolt, are confident in afcribing the extraordinary 
profperity of America to the fkill, the induftry, and the en- 
terprifmg fpirit of the Americans themfelves. It feems to be 
taken for granted that, notwithftanding our protection and 
patronage, and notwithftanding all our bounties and bene- 
factions, this actually was the cafe : and there are few who 
will be at the trouble to examine on what authority thefe 
opinions are founded. No man can be more willing than I 
am to allow to the efforts of the Americans all that they are 
entitled to ; and I am equally ready to allow, that it is not a 
little to which they are entitled : but, at the fame time, I am 
well aware how much more eafy it is to affert that they owe 
their fuccefs folely to themfelves, than it is to prove it. If, 
however, ten thoufand reafons could be given for the rapid 
growth of America, the matter of fact muft and would ftill 
reft juft where it now does : for, all this has happened under 
the aufpices, the protection, and the encouragement of Great 
Britain. All that either country has greatly to regret on 
this fubject is, that the prudence of the one did not keep 
pace with her affection ; and that the humility of the other 
was not commenfurate with her profperity. 1 Great Britain 
did not confider, that, governed as her Colonies were, whilft 
(he drained every nerve to render them opulent and powerful, 
(he was in effect advancing them ftill nearer to independency. 

c 4 Nor 

xl P R E F.A C E. 

Nor did thofe Americans who, by the means of many falfe 
and dangerous maxims of government, were at fuch pains 
to alienate the affetions of too numerous a portion of their 
countrymen from the Parent State, confider that the prin- 
ciples then fo feduloufly inculcated for that purpofe would 
render the people equally indifpofed towards any future go- 
vernment.! , 

Among other civcumftances favourable to the revolt of 
America, that of the immenfe debt owing by the Colonifts, 
to the Merchants of Great Britain, deferves to be reckoned 
as not the leatt. It was eftimated at three millions feeding : 
and fuch is the fpirit of adventure of Britifh merchants, and 
of fuch extent are their capitals and their credit, that, not 
many years ago, I remember to have heard the amount of 
their debts to this country calculated at .double that fum : it 
is probably now trebled. Difpofed, as with great propriety 
the Legiilature of Great Britain always has been (and it is to 
be hoped always will be) to be careful of her commercial 
interefts, fo confiderable a pledge, under fuch circumftanceSj 
becomes of ferious moment. Enquiries can hardly be too 
foon inftituted, how far this is, or is not, one of the few in- 
ftances, in which, with equal advantage to Commerce and to 
the State, this fpirit of enterprize may be controlled and re- 
ft rained. By fo unbounded a credit, that refpe&able body 
of men, the Britifh merchants, feem to have deprived them- 
felves, if not of their freedom of will, yet certainly of their 
free- agency : for if, hereafter, unfortunately for both coun- 
tries, difputes fhould again be fomented between the Ame- 
ricans and ourfelves, (and their being fo deeply in our debt, 
however able they may be to difcharge it, is furely fuch a 
{late of things as can never be thought likely to prevent dif- 
putes,) what is the part which merchants fo circumflanced 
will probably take ? The anfwer to this queftion, I conceive, 
may well be, that merchants will probably aft as they once 



before did in a fimilar cafe ; that is to fay, rather than run 
the rifque of lofing their debts, they will fide, or appear to 
fide, with the Americans. The condefcenfions and the con- 
ceilions which (contrary to the ufual courfe of things) cre- 
ditors in this inftance made to debtors, (and in particular to 
the planters of Virginia and Maryland,) were not only to the 
lad degree humiliating and degrading, but productive of 
other and greater evils. <Low people were thus trained to 
be infolent and unmannerly y and were alfo taught, that 
there was hardly any thing, however unreafonable, which 
they could not obtain, provided only they were clamorous 
and audacious in demanding it. What the humiliations in 
Japan were, to which the Dutch for the luft of gain are 
reproached with having fubmitted, the world, I believe, has 
never yet been very accurately informed : but I have no 
conception that either Japanefe infolence, or Dutch mean- 
nefs, could be greater than hundreds of inftances, in both 
ways, which daily occurred between merchants and planters 
in the Tobacco Colonies, in the bufmefs of " begging tobacco? 
as it was emphatically but very properly called. Circum- 
ftances fuch as thefe call for the attention of the American 
kgiflatures almoft as loudly as they call on ours. For, 
their country can never be thought to enjoy a fecure peace, 
whilit a large body of men, of active and verfatile minds, in- 
genious and fertile in finding out refources, and who proba- 
bly have more interefl and more weight in making war or 
peace in the world, juft as either may fuit their particular 
views, than the world feems to be aware of, are fo deeply in- 
tereited in picking a quarrel with this country. I feel a 
reluctance even to form a conjecture what may be the num- 
ber of the perfons in America, who have no other means of 
getting rid of the preflure of their Britifh debts, than a rup- 
ture with Great Britain: add to this, it never can be good x 
policy in any Government, to cherifh in any way, or for any 


xlii PREFACE. 

purpofes, among their people, either bad principles or bad 
manners. The fubjeft of America, who is permitted, with-* 
out reproach, and with impunity, to acl: an unworthy part 
either towards a Britifh fubjecT: or the Britim Government, 
wants but an adequate temptation, and a convenient oppor- 
tunity, to acl: the fame part by thofe of his own country. 

The being overwhelmed with debt fe'ems always to have 
been an cfTential ingredient in the character of a confpirator: 
in all ages, and in all countries, infurrec~lions have been ex- 
eited chiefly by " men that are in trouble, and men that are in 
debt *." And, of all the reafons which have been, or might 
be, afligned for the revolt of America, (and more efpecially 
for the revolt of Virginia,) that which I conceive to have 
contributed the moil to it was, that (as was the cafe with the* 
adherents of Catiline) " ses alienum per omnis terras ingens 
" erat )-." A people fo circumftanced are hardly at liberty 
to choofe their part, even in a revolution brought on without 
their participation : a cafe which I own can hardly ever 
really occur. Their only alternative is (as a blunt cavalier 
is faid to have expreffed himfelf in the time of the grand 
febellion) to be loyal and be ruined, or to rebel and be 
Damned. Of courfe no waters are too much troubled for 
fucU anglers to take their chance in : in a revolt they feem 
to carry on a fafe trade, as they may gain, but cannot lofet, 

* i Samuel, ch. xxii. ver. 2. 
Sail. Bell. Jugurth. 

" Alterurn genus eft eorum qui, quanquam prcmrinmr aere alieno, 
*' dominationem tamen expectant; rerum potiri volunt ; honores quo& 

*' quieta republica defperant, perturbatu, confcqui pofle arbitrantur." 

Cicero, Oratio ad?, in Catilinam. 

** Sed tamcn hi funt Coloni j hi, dum edihcant, tanquam beati ; dum 
*t prsedijs,ic(5licis, familiis magnis, conviviis, apparatis, deleftantur,in tan- 
turn s alienura inpdertinr, ut fi falvi effc vdinr, Svlla fit iis ab inferis 
f< excitandus." -Ibid. 



Many fenfVble men have thought it a great defect in our 
Colonial fyftems, that many of the Governments, or parti- 
cular Colonies, were formed or laid out more by accident 
than by plan ; and, in general, of far too limited an extent. 
Had they been intended to be, or had they remained, mere 
factories, or even a clufter of little independent republics, 
like the States of Holland, or the Cantons of Switzerland, 
no great inconveniences might have refulted from the fcanti- 
nefs of their dimenfions. But they furely were ill calculated 
for the foundation of any fuch government, as, without the 
peculiar advantages of fome of the European republics, 
might by their own power and dignity enfure obedience 
and command refpei&i Every thing in America had a re- 
publican afpecl: ; fome of the governments rather refembling 
a large Hanfe town, or a City corporation, with their terri- 
torial environs, than the venerable State after whofe image 
they fhould have been formed. Without a civil lift, with- 
out patronage, and of courfe without influence, is it to be 
wondered at that Governors in America too often found 
themfelves little better than fo many king logs liable to be 
daily infulted even by perfons of the lowed orders in the 
community, as Phsedrus expreffes it, omni contumelia; Of 
that they fhould be deemed (as it is faid fome one called 
them at the Council Board in 1691) "Governors pf 
Clouts *?" 

On a fuperficial view it might be thought, perhaps, that 
the multiplying of governments would be the multiplying of 
offices and places 5 which, being at the difpofal of the 
executive power, might have been fuppbfed fufficient 
to ftrengthen the hands of governors. The djreft con* 
trary, however, was the cafe. The few places which 
Government had to beftow were indeed fufficient to ex- 

* Hutchinfpn's Hift. of Maffachufet's Bay, vol. i. p. 408. 

. cite 


cite diffatisfaaion ; but hardly in a fingle inflance fuffi- 
cient to animate men to adive exertions, or to reward thofe 
xvho entitled themfelves to reward. This would not have 
been fo much to be lamented, had no more power in the 
fame way been left with the people : but, in many of the 
governments > the patronage of the people was as great as 
that of the governors was fmall. Of courfe, the latter were 
neglected, and the former courted ; and the fuitors, like the 
patrons, being, as might be expected, perfons of democra- 
tical tempers and talents, it is not to be wondered at that 
fuch fuits were feldoin preferred in vain. A pofition, 
therefore, which was once advanced by Governor Bernard, 
the Governor of MafTachufet's Bay, is the refult not only of 
long and accurate obfervation, but of found judgment and 
the more it is examined, the truer it will be found that " the 
<c fplitting America into many fmall governments weaken- 
* e ed the governing power, and ftrengthened that of the peo- 
<c pie ; and thereby made revolting more practicable and 
" more probable. "l Nothing was fo naked, or, in Scripture 
phrafe, fo wholly without form or come/inefs, as government 
in America : it neither had ftrength, nor the appearance of 
ilrength. Far from difcornmending thofe legiflators who 
formed the laft American Constitution, for, refpeclmg local 
habits and prejudices, I am ready to own that they probably 
did as much as could then be done. But, as the evil here 
complained of was fuffered to remain, and ftill fubfifts, pro- 
ducing the fame untoward efrets which it has hitherto 
always produced, every friend to order^ and to a fleady firm 
government, mull wifh it may foon be in their power to 
remedy it ;. their difpofidon to do fo cannot be questioned. 

The loofe principles of the times > however, (againft which 
it fs the leading aim of this publication to put the world on 
it's guard,) are ftill to be regarded as the one great caufe of 
the American revolt. To fuch an height had this extreme 


PREP A\? E. Xlv 

corruption of principle been carried, that, had not tliofe bulky 
adjuncts of this then great empire feen fit to wreftle with 
the Parent State for pre-eminence when they did, it is too 
probable fome other of it's parts might have made a fimilar 
attempt. It was no doubt in America that the principal 
efforts to excite murmurings and difcontents were made; 
becaufe there they could be made with the beft profpecl:s of 
fucceeding : but they certainly were not made only in 
America. Nor let either Americans nor Britons even yet 
be too fecure, that thofe reftlefs men of the fame defcription. 
(who ftill with equal art and ambiguity are on all occafions 
fo forward to boaft of their devotion to revolution principles) 
are even yet fatiated with revolutions. 

Subordinate to thefe more prominent caufes of revolt, 
fome others (of inferior moment indeed, yet not wholly in- 
fignificant) deferve to be noticed, as being chara&eriflical 
both of the people and of revolts. When the people of the 
Middle and Southern Colonies were to be tutored to co-ope- 
rate with thofe of the North, whom till then they had viewed 
only with jealoufy and diflike, two methods were taken to 
lull their fufpicions afleep. The being taxed has probably 
always been a circumftance irkfome to mankind ; they fub- 
mit to it only from neceflity : but in North America, more 
perhaps than any where elfe, the people were ftudioufly 
taught to regard all taxes as the arbitrary exaclions of an 
oppreflive Government. When, therefore, the fatal duty 
of three-pence a pound was laid upon tea, the people, thus 
previoufly prepared and difpofed, were eafily perfuadad to 
believe alfo, that, by refifting it with the fame firmnefs as 
they had {hewn in oppofmg the Stamp At, it would cer- 
tainly be repealed : and they were farther inftru&ed to think 
that the beft mode of refining this new tax, would be by for- 
bearing to ufe the taxed article. The policy of this meafure 
was not at fir ft very obvious ; yet, with it's accompaniments 



of fimilar recommendations to " kill lambs fparingly" anet 
other injunctions of the fame tendency, it's effects on the 
minds of the people were prodigious. It is well known, 
that tea (the obnoxious object of the tax) is, comparatively 
fpeaking, but little ufed by the lower clafles of the people in 
America. By thus putting thofe clafles, then, (with hardly 
a facrifice on their parts,) on a footing with their betters, to 
. whom tea was neceflary, a very artful and acceptable com- 
pliment was paid to their levelling humours. Befides this, 
it helped gradually to train the people of all ranks to pay a 
deference and obedience to perfons inverted with no legal 
nor constitutional authority over them ; which, however, 
they would have paid with great reluctance in any cafe that 
had not flattered their own preconceived notions. Thofe 
leading men, therefore, to whom it was left to model and con- 
duel: the rifing revolt, were careful firft to learn what orders 
would or would not be generally acceptable ; and they took 
care to iflue none which they were not fure would meet with 
a gracious reception. Nor were any more acceptable than 
thofe by which fuperiors were put in the power of inferiors. 
The poor man, who, if not himfelf a committee man, had it 
in his power to inform the committee of his diftrict that 
fome richer neighbour had been feen drinking a dim of tea, 
killing a lamb, or even making his head only, and looking 
dejected on reading a congreffional mandate, thus became 
of confequence, as being enabled to keep his quondam fuperior 
in awe. Every public order that was iflued, either by Con- 
grefs, Conventions, or Committees, was framed exactly in 
the fpirit of the perfons on whom it was to operate ; juft as 
field preachers level their harangues, not only to the capaci- 
ties, but alfo to the tempers, of their hearers. 

A fimijar policy dictated fundry ordinances which were 
now ifilied refpeding fails. Whatever might be the cafe 
with the people of the North, thofe of the Middle and 


P R E F A C E, 

Southern Provinces were certainly not remarkable for taking 
much intereft in the concerns of religion. But, carelefs as 
they were of fafting in it's proper fenfe and purpofe, it was 
not likely that, in the temper which then prevailed among 
them, they (hould be indifpofed to fajl for Jirife and debate. 
Some ufe was thus made of their religious propenfities : and 
this is a fentiment which, however it may occafionally be 
enfeebled, whenever it operates at all, muft operate to fome 
effecl:. It was of ftill more confequence to the caufe of re- 
volt, that by this device the Southern Clergy, and in par- 
ticular thofe of the Church of England, were, almoft with- 
out an option, compelled to become in fome degree fubfer- 
vient to infurgency. We were inextricably entrapped, be- 
fore we were well aware that a net had been fpread for us. 
The minds of the people became unufually agitated : the 
times feemed big with fome portentous event : and though 
for fome time the Congrefs made no exprefs mention of a 
civil war, yet the people were often warned to prepare for 
the worft. This preparation was foon interpreted to mean 
that they were to accuftom themfelves to . arms. I have 
fometimes thought, that there furely muft be fomething par- 
ticularly alluring, either in the idlenefs of military e;:er- 
cifmgs, in the drefs and parade of it, or in that air of im- 
portance which a military character feems to give to thofe 
xvho are inverted with it. Were this not the cafe, fuch mul- 
titudes would hardly be found ready and eager to mufter 
whenfoever or by whomfoever they are called upon. But, 
whether they were military arrays,, or folemn fafts, which 
the Congrefs now enjoined, both were implicitly obeyed; 
and the injunctions were popular. It is true, indeed, that 
at firft their fafts were not appointed, as was afterwards the 
cafe, for the exprefs purpofe of u praying for patriotifm 
and it's fuccefs." They were appointed, that the people 
might pray to God to avert the impending calamities. 



And what good man, or what faithful minifter of God, 
could refufe to fupplicate Heaven for the reftoration of 
peace to a diftra&ed land ? No juft objection could lie againft 
the thing itfelf : all that was objectionable was the incompe- 
tency of thofe who enjoined it. Some Clergymen indeed 
foon faw through the flimfy veil ; but, thinking it neither wife 
nor fafe to fet themfelves directly againft the current of the 
times, as no particular fervices were prefcribed, they judged 
it to be beft upon the whole to attend their churches. They 
did this the more chearfully from a confcioufnefs that it was at 
lead in their power to avoid gratifying fuch of their hearers 
as were feditioufly difpofed with any inflammatory harangues. 
For this conduct they were often infulted and perfecuted by 
many of thofe loofe and diforderly perfons who had hereto- 
fore been the lead refpected in fociety, but who now became 
noify, forward, and afTuming. Too many of the Clergy of 
the Church of England, however, (and no others are impli- 
cated in this charge,) either not feeing, or not fufficiently 
regarding the confequences of any public deviation from the 
flraight line of rectitude, fell into the fnare : and when the 
paftor ftrayed, it was no wonder that the flock followed. 

Some farther enquiry into the caufes of this linking diffe^ 
rence of conduct in men of the fame order, and under the 
fame inducements and obligations to act aright, feems necef- 
fary, from it's having been productive of fome not unimport- 
ant confequences. The fact flood thus : in all the Colonies to 
the North of Pennfylvania, the Clergy of the Church of Eng- 
land were (I believe without a fingle exception) uniformly 
loyal : arid many of them were called upon to give fuch 
proofs of fortitude m fu feting for rigkteoufnefs fake, as would 
not have difcredited primitive martyrs *. In the other 


* There arc in the pofTeffion of the Society for propagating the Gofpel 
in Foreign Parts many letters from their miilionaries, (now become docu- 


Governments, though (blefled be God !) we did not all bow 
the knee to Baal, yet is it not to be denied that far too many 
of our order were not fteadfaft. The publication of two 
patriotic fermons in Philadelphia, by two clergymen of rank 
and weight in our Church, told the world but too plainly,' 
that all our Clergy did not think unfavourably either of 
the infurgents or of their caufe. 

To account for this inconfiftency, it is to be obferved, 
that the Northern Clergy were in general miflionaries, and 
received falaries from the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gofpel in Foreign Parts. Their brethren in the South were 
eftabliihed ; but fo eftablifhed as in no fmall degree to be ftill 
dependent on the People, and on them alone. In Virginia, 
they were elected to their benefices by the People : and 
though, by an examination of the Virginia ah of eftablifh- 
ment, as thofe acls appear upon paper, the Clergy, after 
their election, might have been thought to have been placed 
beyond the reach of popular control, yet every man who had 
a practical acquaintance with that country before the revo- 
lution muft know that this was not the cafe. In Maryland, 
where the Clergy obtained their .preferment from the Go- 
vernor, and where the eftablimment was upon the whole by 
far the moil refpe&able of any upon the Continent, an Aft, 
which was pafled juft at the beginning of the troubles, had 

ments of authentic hiftory,) which would in a very ftriking manner confirm 
this afTertion. 

To thefe truly good and great men, that fine encomium of Milton's, on 
Abdiel, might almoft literally be applied : 

" Among the faithlcfs, faithful chiefly they 

" Among innumerable falfe, unmov'd, 

" Unfhaken, unfeduc'd, unterrified, 

" Their loyalty they kept, their love, their zeal : 

" Nor number, nor example, with them wrought 

' To fwerve from truth, or change their contlant mind." 

Paradife Loft, book v. !. 897. 
d rendered 


rendered the Clergy, if poflible, more dependent on the Peo- 
ple than their brethren of Virginia. In both thefe Colonies 
it had long been the drift of every legiflative interference, 
of which the Clergy were the objefts, to withdraw them 
from any dependence on, or connexion with, Government ; 
and to attach them to the People. Hence, the Church of 
England, though eftabliihed, and, as far as I know, found in 
her doclrines, was, at the period of the revolt, in discipline 
and church-government, palpably of a more popular form 
than the Prefbyterian Church under the eftablifhment in 
Scotland. That many of the Clergymen who conformed (in 
which number are all thofe who are now bifhops in America) 
acled confcientioufly in the part they took, it would be great 
want of charity not to believe : and though, even in human 
judicatures, erroneous principles or opinions are not allowed 
to be pleaded in bar of judgment, it would be uncandid not 
to refleft, that thofe Clergymen were expofed, like the reft 
of mankind, to the influence of thofe opinions of the times, 
which, like a torrent, fwept away all cool and fober thought, 
and all fedatenefs of judgment, in men of all ranks and 
orders, in one mad phrenfy of ambition. 

After all, where is the man, who, having read the hiftory 
of mankind with all proper care, will take upon him to affirm, 
that nations, as well as individuals, are not liable to paroxyfms 
of infanity or phrenfy *, and that the revolt of America may 
not as fairly be afcribed to a itrong fpirit of delufion on the, 
fubjeft of politics, as the rebellion of 1641 was to a fimilar 
fpirit on the fubjecl. of religion ? Inftances of religious in- 
fatuation in communities are too notorious not to be acknow- 
ledged ; but it feems arbitrary to limit enthufiafm to one fen- 
timent of the human mind. John of Leyden, or any other 
fanatical reformer, was reputed a madman only from his at- 
tempting what he conceived to be a good end by improbable 
and defperate means j and what more could be faid of the 



Celebrated knight of La Mancha ; or what lefs of Wat Tyler, 
Tom Paine, or any other fanatical reformer of States ? I 
conceive it to be a point yet undecided, whether Mahomet 
himfelf did not owe his unequalled fuccefs in the Eaft at 
leaf! as much to his fanaticifm as to his impofture. And far 
lefs injuftice would have been done to his character, than, in 
my humble opinion, was done to Alexander, and to Charles 
the Twelfth of Sweden, when a great poet of our own called 
them " madmen," had his biographers defcribed him as hav- 
ing learned, in the words of Horace, " infanire certa ra- 
" tione, modoque." But if thefe immortal heroes are to be 
fet down as madmen, what mall we fay of thofe millions o 
men who either compofed or paid their armies * ? 

What elfe is madnefs but mifguided paffions and blinded 

* Were if not that mankind, in forming themfelves irito fects, parties, 
and fa&ions, very generally renounce the cxercife of their reafon, why 
fliould their leaders fo often have found it necfcflary to diftinguifh men fo 
aflbciated, not by any circumftances chara&eriftical of good fenfe and fober 
judgment, but by fome low and ridiculous names, fome filly peculiarity of 
drefs, or other fenfelefs badge of diftinUon ? Hence (not to go out of our 
own country) fuch ftrange names as Puritans, Roundheads, Whigs, Tories, 
White Boys, Dippers, Ranters, Quakers, &c. &c. : hence thofe prodigious 
effefts, far beyond uhat it would have been pofTible to produce by the 
Ibundeft and cleared arguments, which are faid to have refulted from fuch 
popular tunes as Lillibullero, Ctt-ira, &c. &c. ; and hence trees of liberty, 
cockades of pieces of buckfkin, and fuits of blue and bujff. If Quakerifm, 
notwithftanding the inoffenfivenefs of it's tenets, be now on the decline, 
(as many think that it is,) I can attribute it to no caufe fo probable as this, 
that fome of the moft diftinguilhed of it's members, afhamcd of being any 
longer fo ftrongly marked by fome extremely unmeaning, if not abfurd, 
peculiarities, have, like the reft of their countrymen, lately ceafed to make 
it a part of their religion not to cock their hats, or put buttons on them ; 
and have ventured to fay jou, though fpeaking only to one perfon. Had 
it not been for the oftentatious difplay of fuch childifh fingularities, fo 
flattering to low pride, it may well be queftioned whether even oppofition 
and perfecution could have driven fo many to attach themfelves to a fyftem 

fo unalluring. 

d 2 reafon ? 

Ill P U F A C E. 

reafon ? All the great commotions which have fo often agi* 
tated thefe kingdoms, when analyfed, appear to have origi- 
nated, fir ft, in the ill-governed paflions of fome popular 
leader or leaders ; and, next, in the milled reafon of the peo- 
ple. For a 1 long fucceflion of reigns, a mere predilection for 
a particular family, (as in the contefts between the Houfes 
of York and Lancafter,) armed one part of the kingdom 
againft the other ; fome hot-headed chieftains led them on, 
and- the deluded multitudes followed. In fuch contefts, the 
Jlillfmcill voice of Reafon was liftened to, juft as it would be 
liftened to by a troop of devotees celebrating the orgies of 
Bacchus. Not much longer ago than a century, the king- 
dom was again goaded on almoft to madnefs by fierce con- 
troverfies about uneffential points of Religion : and now we 
are once more deluded and diftra&ed by a phantom, mif- 
called Philofophy , for, our demagogues call themfelves phi- 
lofophers, with juft the fame propriety that a poor lunatic, 
with his crown of draw, fancies and calls himfelf an emperor. 
Our pofterity, it is probable, will fee this modern phrenfy in 
all it's foulnefs of deformity ; and moralize on it, as we now 
moralize on the heroes of the crufades, or on the cant and 
hypocrify of Cromwell and his adherents. The hermit Peter, 
who is faid firft to have fent fo large a portion of the flower 
of Europe on a Quixote errand to the Holy Land, was a fober, 
rational,* and virtuous man, when compared with fuch in- 
cendiaries as Paine and his abettors. And however decided 
tour preference may be of the idol of our own fetting up, as 
it is manifefted by our arbitrarily ordering all men to fall 
down and worfhip it, there certainly is room to fufpecl: that, 
with all it's faults and all it's errors, there was lefs folly and 
lefs injuftice in the beginning of the grand rebellion, than 
there was in the revolt of America/ I would fain add, what 
alfo I (Irongly incline to believe was the cafe, that, with all 
their wrong-headednefs, the leading men under Cromwell, 


P R E P A C B. 

onfidered cither as ftatefmen, as warriors, or as writers, 
were in no refpect inferior to the metaphyfical ftatefmen 
and rebellious reformers of the prefent times. 

It is with ftill more confidence that I attribute the fuccefs 
of the Americans in their revolt to the great improbability 
there was of their fucceeding. It may well make the great 
men of thefe kingdoms blufli to recollect who and what 
thofe felf-tutored ftatefmen and heroes were by whom their 
counfels were baffled, and their armies defeated and difgraced. 
To the fuppofed infignificance of the Colonifts there can be 
no doubt fome of their fuccefs is to be attributed ; as, inftead 
of caution, it begat contempt in their opponents , and no 
adverfary is fo mean as that he may fafely be defpifed. In- 
dependently of this, it is in itfelf more difficult to have to 
contend with men of irregular and defultory minds, than 
with perfons of diftinct, clear, and fteady underflandings. 
Againft feafible projects proper precautions may be taken ; 
but who knows how to make head againft the wild and dif- 
orderly, but vehement and impetuous, proceedings of mobs, 
or of the chieftains of mobs ? All countries have produced 
MafTaniellos, Joans of Arc, and Jack Cades ; to whom I may 
perhaps add the redoubtable Robefpierre, and certainly the 
late mutineer Parker; men who have become formidable 
chiefly by attempting improbable things by improbable 
means and this, perhaps, is as fatisfactory an account as 
could eafily be given of the fuccefs of Mahomet. A certain^ 
degree of wildnefs and eccentricity pervaded his character j 
neither his thoughts nor his actions appear to have been regu- 
lated by any plan ; his fuccefles were probably as unexpected, 
even by himfelf, as the means by which they were effected 
were in general unpremeditated ; and it was impofiible for 
thofe, who wifliedto oppofe him, to counteract projects which 
it was impoflible for them to forefee, and which were no 
(boner conceived than executed. And, were I now called on 

tiV P R E F A C E* 

to aflign one, and only one, great paramount rcafon, account- 
ing for the fuccefs with which the arms of the prefent French 
republicans have lately been crowned, and in particular 
for their victories in Italy, I certainly fhould pafs by the en- 
thufiafm of liberty, as fuppofed to operate on their foldiers, 
as the groundlefs conjecture only of enthufiafts ; and alfo 
pafs by even the immenfe numbers of their armies, becaufe, 
when ill-difciplined, that circumilance is as often difadvan- 
tageous as advantageous ; and afcribe all that has occurred, to 
the novelty, the irregularity, and the improbability of their 
attempts. It is of the eflence of fuch caufes, however, to be 
efficacious only for a feafon ; it muft be an unpardonable 
fault, both in future Generals and future Stntefmen, if, here- 
after, either victories or revolutions be effected in the fame 

And npw having, with all the fidelity of which I am capa- 
ble, enumerated (either in this Preface or in the body of my 
Work) fuch of the caufes as feemed to me to have been the 
jnoft efficacious in producing the revolt of America, it is in- 
cumbent on me, next, to point outTome of the many intereft- 
ing confequences which it either has already occafioned, or 
may be expected hereafter to occafion. 

I reflect (certainly not without being mortified, yet with- 
out feeing any reafon to blufh either for my fagacity or my 
fmcerity) how totally a predidion refpeding the attachment 
of the Coloniils to their Mother Country, which I ventured 
to fugged in the firft of the following Sermons, has failed. 
When that Sermon was firft written, mod Americans 
thought, at leaft on that point, as I thought : it would then 
have been decreed weaknefs or prejudice to have thought 
otherwife. To the beft of my recolleaion, one of the public 
addrefles from Virginia, on the fubjetT: of the Peace, made 
the fame proteftations, with the fame earneftnefs, and no 
cioubt with equal fmcerity : indeed, I believe, it was the 



general language of American addrefies at that period. Even 
at this moment (when, according to the appearances fo oftei;- 
tatioufly difplayed by one defcription of people, the politica.1 
horizon of the United States of America is perfectly calm 
and ferene) it is demonftrably more probable that convulfions 
fhould arife, terminating in a revolution, and in the deftruc- 
tion of their prefent fyftem of government, than in 1763 it 
was that they mould (hake off their dependence on Great 
Britain. It is more probable, not only becaufe their prefent 
Government is in itfelf really weaker than even that under 
which they were happy in 1763, but alfo becaufe the people 
in general are lefs attached to it both from principle and 
habit. The Americans do not yet feem to be properly con- 
fcious how much they loft when they diverted themfelves, or 
endeavoured to diveft themfelves, of thofe habitudes, cuftoms, 
and prejudices, to which the old Governments of Europe, in 
cafe of party contefts, refort and cling with infinite advantage. 
Merely as Americans, they have no valorous anceftry to boaft 
of, nor any hiftory but of yeflerday. Be thefe mere pre- 
judices; man, either individually, or in his focial capacity, 
is a creature of habits and prejudices : and the Legiflators 
who fhall attempt to remove them will find, as the reward of 
alj their pains, that they have but removed the boundary of a 
delightful near profpecl;, in order to let in a mocking exten- 
five one *. Thefe new republicans, however, in their hafte 
to get rid of old prejudices, have alfo been fo unwife, or at 
leaft fo unfortunate, as, in lieu of old ones, to adopt many 
new ones lefs prudent and more dangerous. -There is now 
in the United States a much larger party, than there was in 
1763, of perfons who have been educated, and, as it were, 
trained to revolt i and, as though their own produce of dif- 
contented and reftlefs men were not fufficient, they have im- 
ported, and are ftill importing, from the different States of 

* See Maxims, Charafters, and Reflexions, p. 79 and 107. 

d 4 Europe, 


Europe, patriots who are the reformers of governments by 
trade, and follow it as a profeflion*. It is fair to infer, that, 
from fuch a combined union of refources, America is now 
abundantly flocked with men, whofe modes of thinking and 
principles are of a nature likely to lead them to be diflatif- 
fied with any government which may be eftablifhed. Such 
a party will be always on the watch, and always ready to 
feize on any opportunity that may offer, to overturn a fettled 
government : the reputablenefs, or difreputablenefs, of fuch 
attempts now depend entirely, not on the nature of them 
abftraledly confidered, but on their fuccefs, or want of 

Founded as the prefent government of North America was 
under the aufpices of the People, it mufl have been a folecifm 
in politics had it not been weak. Strength and weaknefs, 
as the terms are here applied to thefe States, relate folely to 
their own intrinfic powers and refources as they operate on 
themfelves, and without any reference to their ability or 
difability to cope with other States and Governments. Now, 
as it was necefTary (not indeed for the fake of the new go- 
vernment which was to be founded, but for the fake of pulling 
down the old one) that the whole of the revolution fhould 
aflame and be of a popular caft, it was not to be expected 

I wifli we could fay that a change of air had produced a change of 
" condua in fome of them. The comrades of Muir and Palmer were no 
fooner landed at New- York laft year, than they began to pick an hole in 
" the coat of the American Government. They openly declared that it 
was tarnijbed by the laft and ivorjl dlfgrace of a free Government*, and 
" faid, that they looked forward to a more ferjefl Jlate of fociety. (See 
" their Addrefs to the Unitarian Doftor.) I do not fay that they had any 
" immediate hand in the Weftern afftir : but when rebels from all quar- 
" ters of the world are received with optn arms as perfecuted patriots,, it 

is no wonder that rebellion ihquld be looked upon as patriotifm." , 

A Bone to gnaw for the Democrats. Philadelphia, 1795, *d edition, note, 




that the People (now made their own rulers) fhould he dif- 
pofed to lay any very rigorous reftraints on themfelves. Ac- 
cordingly it has been obferved that in the fame proportion 
that any Government is popular it is alfo weak ; and henc^ 
(from having either feen, or experienced, the unavoidable 
weaknefs of fuch forms) the bulk of mankind in all ages arid 
nations have thought, and do flill think, it for their intereft 
to fubmit to and live under fyflems more defpotic ; not, it 
may be fuppofed, without a proper fenfe of the many flrong 
objections which have often been urged againft fuch forms, 
but influenced folely by the profpec~t which they hold out of 
greater fecurity and durability. 

This consideration of the comparative ftrength and weak- 
nefs of popular and defpotic forms of Government furnimes, 
if I miftake not, an almoft irrefiftible argument againft the 
conjectures of thofe fpeculative writers who have taken fo 
much pains to make the world believe that all Government 
was originally founded in the confent of the People. Had 
this been the cafe, all Governments, at leaft in their origin, 
muft have retained fome of the flrong chara&eriftics of their 
firft fabrication ; they muft have been at once free and weak. 
"Whereas moft of the old Governments, of which hiftory has 
preferved any records, were, at the period when they might 
be fuppofed to have come frefh from the hands of their firft 
framers, if not free, yet ftrong ; and, in general, monarchi- 

For the truth of thefe aflertions we need not look beyond 

the United States of America. Ever fince thev have become 


a diftincl peoplejtheir Government has been unfettled, agi- 
tated, and fometimes even on the brink of revolution f. ( It 


* " Principle rerum, gentium nationumqxie imperium penes reges erat: 
*' quos ad faftigium hujus majeftatis non ambitio popularis ; fed fpe&ata 

** inter bonos moderatio provehebat." Juftin. lib. i. c?p. i. 

J- It is thus that Mr. Prefident Adams hirnfelf defcribes fome of the im- 


Iviii f R E * A c t. 

is but a few years fince this danger was great and imminent,' 
A very large body of people actually took up arms againft the 
exifting government : and the reafons they affigned for their 
Infurre&ion were neither lefs juft, nor lefs cogent, than thofc 
which they themfelves, in concurrence with the perfons 
againft whom they now rofe, had juft before alledged to 
juflify their general refinance to the Parent State. They 
complained (not indeed of a duty upon damped paper, or a 
fmall tax upon tea, but) of unconftitutional, grievous, and 
oppreflive taxes in general. Nor, for a while, were their 
profpefts of fuccefs lefs flattering than, at the beginning, 
thofe of their prototypes, the malecontents in 1775, were. 
Like their predecefibrs, alfo, they found friends in thofc 


mediate effefts of their firft Conftitutlon, which, he fays, it was forefeet* 
could not be durable." " Negligence of regulations, inattention to re- 
" commendations, difobedience to authority not only in individuals but in 
" States, foon appeared with their melancholy confequences univerfal lan- 
** guor, jealoufies and rivalries of States, decline of navigation and com- 
** merce, difcouragement of neceflary manufactories, univerfal fall in the 
' value of lands and their produce, contempt of public and private faith, 
" lofs of confideration and credit with foreign nations, and at length dif- 
" contents and animofities, combinations,/r//a/ conventions andinfurrec- 
" //6y threatening Come great national calamity. *' See his Inaugural 
Speech on his entering on the office of Prcfident : at Phitadelphiai Marcli 
the 6th, 1797. 

Of the virulence and audacity of parties in America, and as a fpecimea 
alfo of the weaknefs even of their new and prefent Conftitution, take the 
following defcription from the able writer already quoted, who (much 
to the credit and the happinefs of America) is become one of the moil 
popular public men among them. " The truth is, thofe among us who 
" have made the moft noife, and have expreffed the moft rancour againft 
" Great Britain, feem to have done it only to cover their enmity to the 
" federal government, and confequently to their country, if we may with 
' propriety call it their country. Let any man take a review of their con- 
" du6t fince the beginning of the prefent European war, and fee if this 
obfevvation i$ i lo: uniformly true, Jt was they who railed fuch a, cla- 


parties, which it is of the eflence oft he American Govern- 
ment, like our own, to engender under the impofmg name 
of an Oppofition. It was a circumftance, however, as un- 
propitious to the caufe of the Infurgents, as it was fortunate 
for the Eftablifhed Government, that no pretence was found 
for the Oppofitionifts in the Britim Parliament to take part 
with them j nor any powerful Nation difpofed or at leifure 
to abet the caufe of thefe refractory fubjels. Even the 
neighbouring countries, which are dill connected with Great 
Britain, were either too weak or too generous to intermeddle 
with their quarrel. Hence the Eftablifhed Government, 
availing themfelves of a ftriking inftance of wife and refolute 
conduct in the hiftory of Rome *, and profiting by the recent 


'< mour againft the Proficient's wife proclamation of neutrality ; it was 
" they who encouraged an infolent and intriguing foreigner to fet the law* 
' of the Union at defiance, and to treat the fupreme executive authority 
" as if he had been a Talien, or a Barrere, or the Prefident of nothing but 
*' a Democratic or Jacobin Club ; it was they who brought the vexations 
" and depredations on the commerce, and then guillotined in effigy the 
* ( ambaflador extraordinary, the angel of peace, who went to repair their 
" fault j finally, it was they \\l\o fanned the embers of rebellion in the Wejl 
" into a flame, and caufed fourteen or fifteen thoufand men to be taken 
" from their homes, to undergo a moft fatiguing campaign, at the expence 

*' of a million and a half of dollars to the United States." A Bone to 

gnaw for the Democrats, p. 27. 

* When, of the thirty Colonies which Rome pofleiTed, twelve had re- 
volted, (and, as appears, merely from an unwillingnefs to contribute their 
fhare to the general exigencies of the State,) the Romans did not, like Great 
Britain, hope to recover them by coaxing and carelfmg them with an in- 
creafed fondnefs ; but inftantly had recourfc to the more manly, and (I 
add) the more merciful, means of coercion and force. 

' Nova re confutes ifti, quum abfterrere eos a tarn deteftabili crimine 
" vellent, cafligando increpcfndoque, plus quam leniter agenda, profe&uros 

** rati aiebant non detreftationem earn munerum militiae, 

fed apertam defeftionem a populo Romano eflfe. Redirent itaque (legati 
*' fcilicet) properc in colonias, & tanquam Integra re locuti, magis quam 

< aufi 


example of a contrary conduct in this country, muttering uj 
all at once as much ftrength as it could command, exerted 
It with inftantaneous vigour, and therefore with effecl: : the 
infurgents were defeated, difperfed, and difgraced. 

A refpite indeed from the conteft with the Parent State 
was hardly obtained, before very alarming altercations arofe 
among the Americans themfelves : they were fo {harp and 
fierce as to excite ferious apprehenfions in thofe who were 
entrufted with the executive power. Their leading men 
then difcovered (and certainly no great fagacity was necefiary 
to enable them to difcover) that the Conftitution, for which 
they had been contending at the rifque of every thing that 
was dear to them, when obtained, was a weak one, and in 
every refpeft inadequate to their exigencies. The firft very 
important bufmefs, therefore, which engaged the attention of 
their Legiflators after the Peace, was the framing a new 
Conftitution. Every man who knows any thing of the fecret 
but true hiftory of his own times, muft know with what 
difficulty the ftronger and belter Conftitution, which ftill 
exifts, and apparently exifts unimpaired, was at firft ob- 
tained. But, Conftitutions of Government, unlike thofe of 
the perfons who form them, grow ftronger by growing older: 
and, partial as this age may feem to be to new Conftitutions, 
as well as pratifed in the art of making them, I own I can 
hardly imagine a cafe in which it is poffible to make a new 
Conftitution that ihall poflefs fufficient ftrength and ftability. 

" aufi tantum nefas cum fuis confulerent ; admonerent, non Campanos 
{ neque Tarentinos cos efle, fed Romanes : inde oriumdos ; inde in coloni* 
<c atque in agrum bello captum, flirpis augendae causa, miffos j qute 
parcntibits deberent* ea illos Roman's debere^ fi ulla mcmoria antiqi 

*' patriae, fi ulla pietas, cffet." " Confvites hortari & confoh 

*' fenatum, & dicere, alias colonias in fide atque priftino officio fore 9 
** quoque qua2 ab officio difceffcrint, ii legati circa eas colonias mittantur, 
" qui caftigent, non qui pr#centur t verecundiam imperil habituras effe." 
I. Liv. lib. xxv ii. feet. io. 


Kow fufficient that fecurity is, which the people of America 
liave acquired under their laft formed Conftitution, with all 
it's acceflions of compa&nefs and energy, may be judged of 
by thofe commotions which have juft been noticed; and 
which, though the firft, it is very little likely mould be the 
laft. They were pacified and furmounted, more through an 
happy concurrence of circumftances, than through any real 
ftrength of the Government. Among thefe fortunate cir- 
cumftances I reckon, as the chief, the perfonal influence of 
their late Prefident ; and the wife and liberal policy of this 
country in co-operating with the Loyalifts of America, who 
now, happily, are the prevailing party : -'by thefe means the 
machinations of thofe French Jacobins, who entertained 
fuch confident hopes of being able to fraternize with their 
brother Republicans of the United States, have been com- 
pletely baffled and defeated j 

That the caufes here affigned for the prefent {lability of 
thefe States are not imaginary, might be proved (if proof be 
wanting) by many of their late public proceedings ; but ef- 
pecially by the refignation of their late Prefidenk and his 
*f Addrefs to the People of the United States." 1 His retire- 
ment from public life is an event of great political import- 
ance. } In every point of view, his death, under whatever 
circumftances, and at whatever time it might take place, 
could not but be productive of important confequences to 
his country. To take off as much of the danger of fuch an 
event as in the prefent ftate of things was practicable, he 
feems to have refolved that his civil demife fhould precede 
his natural death ; and, by doing fo, he referved to himfelf, 
in fome degree, the power of regulating the moft important 
of ii's confequences. A meafure of fuch wife and virtuous 
policy muft have crowned the evening of his life with 
honour, even had all it's preceding periods been pafled in 
abfcurity. . . 

o The 


The particular junfture in which he faw fit to make this 
experiment was highly favourable to his views *. The lead- 
ing Powers of Europe were all deeply involved and engaged 
in great troubles of their own j and France in particular no 
longer at leifure to purfue her dreadful project of frater- 
nizing with the reft of the world. Thefe circumftances 
left the Americans perfectly at liberty to attend to their own 
jnterefts in their own way. They enjoyed alfo fuch advan- 
tages of trade, that (unlefs great profperity muft of necefiity 
dill be the fatal fore-runner of a fall) it was not eafy to fore- 
fee, how, from what quarter, or on what ground, any ruinous 
internal evils could foon arife among them. Every good 
man, who is capable of deriving happinefs from contemplat- 
ing the enjoyments of others, cannot but wifh that a pur- 
pofe projected with fo much wifdom and benevolence may 
really produce all the good effects which it was intended to 

'No Wronger proof, however, than this tranfalion affords, 
needs be adduced to (hew, that, in the eftimation of the late 
Frefident and his friends, the prefent Government of America 
is not a ftrong Governmenj,.| Buttreffes are not applied to 
firm and fubftantial buildings : nor does the man who has 
the ufe of all his limbs call for a crutch. If it were poflible 
that a doubt could ftili be entertained on this point, that beft 
commentary on the tranfadtion Mr. Wafhington's valedic- 
tory declaration muft remove it. I confider that excellent 
public document, and Mr. Burke's mafterly writings on the 
fubject of the French revolution, as events not the leaft fig- 
nificant of any which this eventful age has produced. The 

* That his views in his refignarion, and thofe of his friends, were con- 
fentaneous to the ideas here fuggefted concerning them, may be inferred 
from the following fentence in Mr. Prefident Adams's inaugural fpeech : 
' May his name ftill he a rampart, and the knowledge that he lives a bul* 
** wark againd all o^en or fecret enemies of his country's peace !"' 



great fhare which both thefc great men took in bringing 
about the revolution of America needs not to be here re- 
peated. What the motives were which induced them thus 
ilrenuoufly to exert themfelves to effect a purpofe which, 
for any thing they knew, might or might not be productive 
of advantage to their refpettive countries, or of happinefs to 
mankind, 1 leave, as becomes me, to the great Searcher of 
hearts. But that either the one or the other of them has 
fmce thought of the meafure as in common candour we 
mult believe that they then both thought, not even their own 
folemn alTeverations (which, however, there never was any 
probability that they mould ever have made) mould have 
perfuaded me to believe. I read the direct contrary (in a 
manner far lefs open to any fufpicions of infincerity) in every 
page of tht publications which have juft been mentioned. 
I appeal to every man who has read them, (and fuch I fup- 
pofe to be every man who can read,) and who reads with 
any attention to the fpirit as well as to the letter of what he 
reads, whether, if Mr. Burke's " Reflections on the Revolu- 
" tion in France " (mutatis mutandis] had been publifhecl 
during the American conteft, and men's minds had then 
been as much alarmed as has fince been the cafe at the, 
aweful profpect of one revolution treading clofe on the heels 
of another, it would not have excited the fame general ab- 
horrence of the revolution of America as it happily did of 
that of France. Sophiftry itfelf may be challenged to fheW 
a made of difference in the two events, as far as principle is 
concerned |if America had a right to revolt, fo had France \ 
and fo have the fubjects of any Government in the worldj A ' 
I equally appeal to every impartial man, whether, at the 
clofe of the war in 1763, George the Third might not have 
addrefled his then loyal and loving fubjects in America in 
the fpirit, if not in the very words, of George Wafhington's 
farewell letter to them. With whatever fatisfaction his 



countrymen received this affeaing appeal to them, (and 
they muft be callous to all the finer feelings of the heart, as 
well as loft to all proper fenfe both of their duty and their 
intereft, if they have not received it with the greateft,) neither 
their refpea and veneration for him can be greater now, 
nor their expreffions of thofe fentiments more ardent, than 
thoufands may remember they formerly were for their King. 
And good and great as their late Prefident confefledly is, 
it would be an affront to him only to imagine that he is more 
fo than the great and good King whom it was once his 
honour to ferve ; and who ftill merits the love even of Ame- 
ricans, as much as he pofieffes that of a people (whom no 
well-informed or well-difpofed American can regard as 
aliens) who reflect with heart-felt fatisfadion, that (whilft 
both the Americans and the French could find no better 
means of (hewing their childim enmity to monarchy, than 
by vilifying and rebelling againft two of the beft kings who 
ever fat on their thrones, -or on any other, and pique them- 
felves on being the fubjecls, net of kings, but of men cer- 
tainly not better than themfelves) they ftill are the happy 
fubjech of George the Third. 

Of the firft-born, in dired lineal' fucceffion, of a numerous 
progeny of revolutions, of which that of America promifes 
to be the prolific parent, I mean the Revolution of France, 
I feel I hardly have an heart to fpeak, being overawed by the 
enormity of it's guilt, and the immenfity of the danger with 
which it threatens the world. / 

That much blame attaches to Great Britain, from her 
fupinenefs in fuffering Colonial mifmanagernents to rife to 
fuch an height of error as at length to amount to a rebel- 
lion, from her want of counfel and conduct in carrying on 
the war, and from her pufillanimity irk concluding an ignomi- 
nious peace, the moft zealous of her admirers will not deny. 
For all thefe errors fhe is now called to account, and made 



to pay feverely for all her mifdoings. Heavy to this nation 
was the lofs of Thirteen of the bed of her Continental Colo- 
nies : but it becomes intolerable to us now only when, as 
one of it's confequences, another republic is about to arife at 
our very doors ; a republic to which that of America can be 
compared only as an infant Hercules may be compared with 
an Hercules at his full growth. As foon may the poor 
weather-beaten native of the tempeftuous coafts of Magellan 
hope for the mild ferenity of weather found only in tempe- 
rate zones, as we, or any of the nations in their vicinity, 
be permitted to enjoy any peace whilft France is a republic. 
Through a policy as difiionourable as it was (hallow, many 
of the Powers of Europe, though they did not in the late 
war actually join in the unnatural confederacy which was 
formed againft us, yet bore to look on with great compofure, 
whilft, merely to humble our pride, our revolting fubje&s 
were permitted to form themfelves into a republic. For 
this, thofe nations alfo are now about to be punimed. A 
nation of men, like the children of Cadmus, have all at once 
fprung up in the midft of them, all armed, and all deftined, 
as it would feem, hereafter to fubfift by pillage and rapine. 
If in any refpeft they are more civilized than the Piratical 
States on the coaft of Africa, that renders them only the 
more dangerous ; as no favagenefs is fo completely inhuman 
as refined ferocity. Like the ancient legalized banditti 
of the Highlands of Scotland, they will probably fupport 
their monftrous armies by levying a tribute * on all the reft 
of the world f . But vengeance mail alfo overtake France 


J This, in Scotland, was called Black Mail. 

f " Que'deviendront alors les autres Etats en prefence dccette oligarchic 
*' deforganifatrice, fortifiee d'acroifiemens prodSgicux, cntource de Rois 
" vaincus ou foumis, d'Etats ebranlcs ou abattus, de trlbutaira terrifies, 
" ou d'ennemis impuiffans ? 

" Que deviendront les Francais eux-mcmes, confcdcrcs, en apparence, 

e " avec 


herfelf, if indeed it has not already overtaken her : funk a3 
{he is, from one of the firft monarchies of the world, either 
in ancient or modern times, to a mean and odious republic 5 
from having long given law to Europe in all thofe arts which 
are fuppofed to refine men and embeilim life, to become thd 
fcourge, the abhorrence, and the dread of the world. Nor, 
in this general wreck of happinefs, brought on mankind 
by thefe convulfions, muft America hope to efcape unhurt. 
For, a revolt, like the eruption of a volcano, cannot but give 
fomething of a (hock to every contiguous State. Admitting, 
with fome politicians, that revolutions are fometimes, if not 
neceflary, yet ufeful in States, by bringing forward fome im- 
provements in Government ; as with fome philofophers we 
alfo admit that many good ends in the natural world arc 
anfwered by volcanos ; dill their eruption, in both cafes, is- 
tremendous. And as no man, it is probable, would by 
choice fix on the neighbourhood of a burning mountain as 
his place of refidence ; no man would choofe to live under a 
Government liable to revolutions. In both cafes their 
neighbourhood is dangerous ; and it is not eafy to fay, in 
either cafe, at what diftaiice a people may pronounce them- 
felves in fafety. The lava of Vefuvius not only defolated 
large trads of circumjacent country ; but it's aihes arc faid 
t'ometimes to have reached Conftantinople. Juft fo, the 
United States of America, though apparently far removed 
from the immediate fcenes of the revolution in France, is by- 
no meaiis out of the reach of it's effects. America is en- 
dangered not only by her connexion and intercourfe with 

" avec des Beiges, des Bataves, des Germains, des Lombards, dcs Genois, 
' des Remains, tt reclletnent aflujcttis, comma le fut jadis 1'empire Remain, 
" a cette foule de Barbaras, republicanifes dans le fein du Maratifme, et 
" dont le fa&ion dominance dans la rcgencc de Paris le fervira contre la 

<' France mcine, fi jamais elle fongeait a fecouer le joug.'' Lettre a uo- 

M'uiiitrc-d'Eiat, en 1797, par Mallet du Pan, p. 3. How prophetic! 



old France ; but much more by her vicinity to fome of the 
French Colonies, where revolution has raged with all the in- 
tenfe fury of the torrid zone. According to a mafterly 
writer *, in the bofom of the Weftern Archipelago an im- 
menfe empire is about to arife, formed by fuch a people, on 
fuch principles, and with fuch power, as may well make all 
the Weftern world, and all who have any connexions with it, 
to (land aghaft with horror. 

In all ages mankind have been imprefied with a longing 
defire to pry into futurity. Of fuch a defire the worft per- 
haps that can be faid is, that it is foolilh, becaufe it is ufe- 
lefs : yet it is the charaleriftic of prudence to forefee evil, 
whilft the fimple pafs on and are pumfoed. I would fain hope, 
then, that it is fomething more than mere idle curiofity 
which prompts me to wifh it were poffible now to know the 
deftinies of three germs, or embryos, of three future Britifh 
nations ; which, though inconfiderable at prefent, it is not 
impoflible may fome centuries hence give law to a large 
portion of the globe. Thefe are the States of America, the 
Britim Settlements in Hindoftan, and that other yet infant 
Colony (to which the world has no parallel) the " Populus 
<c Latronum " fettled in Botany Bay. 

Polybius, in the beginning of his fixth book, obferves, that, 
from an attentive review of paft events, " It would be no 
" hard tafk" to derive fome forefight as to the future, fo that 
a man may <c fpeak with fome afiurance concerning thofe 
" that mud hereafter happen f." He acknowledges, how- 
ever, that fuch were the peculiar circumftances of the Roman 
republic as to render it extremely difficult to pronounce 
any thing certain concerning their future fortune. It is not 

* Bryan Edwards, Efq. See his Hiftorical Survey of the French Colony 
in the I flan d of St. Domingo. 

t . . . . To', T arsoswriiv uTTSj Ttf ^sXXovTof cya,*>piw. sn rSv tin ytytKTWf siyx*f cc. 

Polvb. lib, vi. fub init. 

e 2 fcfr 


kfs difficult to form even a plaufible conjecture 
tiny of the American States will be : becaufe, fir ft, they have 
no hiftory of their own 5 fo that, from any thing they have 
yet clone, little can be inferred refpecting what they will do : 
and becaufe, alfo, the world does not furnifh us with the hiC- 
tory of any people circumftanced as they are. This diffi- 
culty is ftill farther increafed by the fingular character of 
the times, which (owing to an epidemic laxity of principle, 
and the total abandonment of all plans and fyftems founded 
on experience) has already produced fome great events, fai 
beyond all the ordinary rules of conjecture or calculation. 
Even in this aweful (late of things, however, we may pre- 
fume to hope, that the exemplification of the effects of fuch 
doctrines and practices, as at this moment France is exhibit- 
ing to the world, maybe fufficient to check this furor, however 
cxtenfive it's influence may be : and that therefore, like other 
endemial complaints, this vifi-tation of Heaven, though fevere* 
will not be perpetual, uhe future fate of France, Polybius 
feems very explicitly to have foretold : there having never 
yet been ndvminatio plebis^or popular tyranny, which was not 
in the long-run followed by the arbitrary government of a 
fingle perfonj After fpreading confudon and defolation all over 
Europe, and deluging it with blood ; after putting back 
their own country at lead a century, checking every valuable 
improvement in arts and fciences, and miferably diminifh- 
ing it's population j this diftracted people will at length find 
fafety and peace once more in a monarchy. Their inter- 
regnum may be longer, or it may be (horter, than that of 
England was : a thoufand circumftances, of which no human 
penetration can take cognizance, may ha den or may protract 
that happy period : the only conjecture which I prefume to 
offer on the fubjet, with any confidence, is, that fome time 
or other there will afiuredly be a reftoration ; and me will 
owe her reftoration to reafon and fobriety of conduct, as (he 



owes her prefent alienation of mind only to herfelf. A 
writer of no ordinary abilities * on the American Confiitu- 
tion, admitting that the Confederated States " contain an 
ff immenfe extent of territory, prefenting to the Atlantic a 
" front of fifteen hundred miles," would yet fain perfuade 
himfelf and his countrymen, that thefe States are an excep- 
tion to all the world : that a confederate republic has all the 
force of a monarchical government ; and that, in inert, by 
adopting fuch a form, notwithstanding " the extent of ter- 
*' ritory, the diverfity of climate and foil, the number, great- 
" nefs, and connection of lakes and rivers with which the 
" United States are interfered and almoft furrounded, 
" the vigour and decifion of a wide-fpreading monarchy may 
" be joined to the freedom and beneficence of a contracted 
" republic f ." Confcious that the only very ftrong point in 
rhe prefent Conftitution of thefe States is in the attachment 
and partiality of their people for it, far be it from me in 
any degree to weaken their reliance, either on this, or on 
any other opinion that is favourable to the durability of their 
Government. Bvit, however blind, I add commendably 
blind, they may be to the defers of their prefent fyftem, they 
cannot be infenfible that a great and durable republic is cer- 
tainly a new thing in the world : and that after all the boafled 
excellence of their confederation, they are, to ufe the words 
of an intelligent and elegant hiftorian J, in fact, but a feeble 
combination of ff feveral little republics united only in name; 
" each too weak to preferve dignity, or even to fecure inde- 
" pendency to it's feparate governments and pofleffing 
" nothing fo much in commpn as occafions for perpetual dif- 
ff agreement."* 

* Mr. Wilfon. See Commentaries on the Conftitution of die United 
States of America, p. 26. 
t Ibid, p. 34. 
1: MitforJ. See his Hift. of Greece, vol. 5. p. 47. 

c 3 AS 


As it is juft that they who contributed mod to bring this 
great evil of revolution into credit fhould mod feel it's bitter 
effects, fo it is highly probable that the people of thefe 
States will have the moft reafon to lament their fuccefs. 
They fet out on principles incompatible with liability *, and 
of courfe it is natural to fuppofe that their people, follow- 
ing the example of their founders, will always be prone to 
revolt and rebellion. With the feed of almoft every poli- 
tical evil that can be named, and perhaps, moft of all, that 
of tyranny, thickly fown in their Conftitutions, it is hardly 
poflible they mould be either eafily or well governed ; and 
by being ill governed, they are fure to become an unworthy 
people and if unworthy, it is ftill more certain that they 
muft and will be unhappy *. However little any nation 


* Of what kind of people the American States are already compofed, 
the follow ing defcription, by an avowed friend to Liberty, clearly fhevvs. 
" What has America to boaft of ? What are the graces, or the virtues, 
*' that diftinguifti it's inhabitants ? What are their triumphs in war, or 
" their inventions in peace ? Inglorious foldiers, yet feditious citizens ! 

" fordid merchants, and indolent ulurpcrs !" Preface to the Dying 

JSicgro ; a Poem. 

This account, as written by a poet and an alien, may be fufpected per- 
hops (though I think unjuftly) of exaggeration. Take, then, the account 
which follows, of the prefcnt Americans, from a politician, a man once 
high in office among his countrymen, and a native of America. " If, 
" indeed, the fmall degree of order, of reftraint and fubordination, which 
- *' has for the laft feven years prevailed in our country, be now thrown off, 
*' and the legiflative and executive powers once more return, in effe<5r, into 
** the hands of committees and conventions : if, in place of that fubordi- 
44 nation to law and government j of thofe decent, frugal, and virtuous 
' manners and habits ; of that eafe, and even affluence, in which our fel- 
44 low citizens formerly lived in peace and fafety : in a word, if, inflead of 
*' thofe manners, principles, and circutnftances, which once marked our 
* character, the reverie fhould in future take place and prevail, under a 
" Government too weak to prevent or remedy the evils, there cannot then 
* remain a o^ucftiort on the iubjeft, bvt fuch anarchy and confute muft 



ntay have to boaft of, on a review of many incidents in the 
hiftories of the bed of them, it certainly is fome diminution 
of their reproach, that for many of their blots and blemifhes 
they have fmce atoned by the performance of many great 
and good actions ; and over the reft, Time has thrown her 
kind oblivious mantle. No advantage of this fort belongs 
to the Americans. All that they have in their hiilory, that 
is either ancient or venerable, they have in common with 
that nation which they have renounced. Even the frnall 
portion of their hiilory, which is properly their own, is not 
creditable to them : their revolution began in folly and in- 
juflice, and ended, if to their advantage, certainly not to 
their honour. They have none of thofe hereditary attach- 
ments to country, which are the ftrong ligatures of govern- 
ment ; nor any of that conftitutional devotion to inftitutions 
of long {landing, which nothing but long habits can form ; 
for the want of which no new inftitutions, however wife 
and falutary, have any adequate compenfations to offer. On 
all thefe accounts, and many others not neceflary to be here 
recited, I am tempted to conclude, that, after a long feries of 
" diffentions and contefts," the great Continent of North 
America will become a great empire under a great monarch*. 
Meanwhile, the befl advice which it is in my power to give 
to thefe beginners in government, I give in the words of 
Xenophon to the Athenians : " I cannot," fays he, " con- 
< { fcientiouily commend the form of government you have 

enfue, as to render our independence a curfe, and the prefent and future 
< age in America as unhappy as any ages to be met with in the hiftory of 

" civilized nations have ever been." An Addrefs to the United States 

of America, by Silas Dcane, Efq. p. 40. 

* " Non Cinnae, non Sullre, longa dominatio : et Pompeii Crafiique po- 
tuHia cito in C.efarem : Lepidi atque Antonii arma in Auguftum 
" ccffere ; qui cuncla difcordiij civil'ibus fefla, nomine PRINClFls fub im. 
V pcrium accepit." Tacit. Annal. lib. i. left. I. 

e 4 *' ghofen \ 


" chofen , yet, fince you have chofen it, I not only exhort 
" you to fupport it, but I undertake even to fhew you how 
" to preferve it. And I can think of no better argument to 
make you tenacious of the Conftitution you have framed 
for yourfelves, than by afluring you, that, were your Go- 
< vernment even worfe than I think it, yet it is better for 
you than even a much better Government, which cannot 
be obtained without a civil commotion *." 

If indulging this fpirit of vaticination refpecting the 
future deftiny of America, I might take upon me ftill farther 
to form conjectures for ages yet unborn, I would prognofti- 
cate, that the final downfal of the prefent Confederated Go- 
vernment will, like it's origin, come from the North. This 
has been the ufual courfe of human affairs ; and all the 
predifpofitions riow exifting favour the conjecture. The 
Northern diftricts of that immenfe Continent are not more 
likely to produce future Goths, Vandals, Huns or Franks, 
than thofe of the South are to hold out to them alluring and 
eafy objects of conqueft. I go one ftep farther, and foretell, 
that the fnow-clad deferts of Acadia and Canada will at 
fome future period (I truft, a diflant one) finally give law to 
all North America, and alfo to the Weft India illands. 
They will either be called in, as the Saxons were into this 
ifland, as allies to fome weak and opprefTed State or States, 
or they will iiTue, like other Northern hordes, from their 
own over-ftocked hives, in queft of lefs crowded and more 
fertile fettlements. 

To prevent (if it be poflible to prevent) for many ages 
that long fuccefiion of tumults and wars which the profpect 

* Having formerly, on a different occafion, quoted this very appofite 

paflage, and marked it as a quotation, I feem to be pretty confident as to 

it's authenticity and exactnefs : but I regret that it is not now in my 

power to refer to the particular book or page of the author from \vhom it 

js taken. 



of fuch long-protrated fierce confli&s may be expected to 
entail on our haplefs pofterity, prompted by an anxious foli- 
citude for the general weal of mankind, and by an afFe&ion- 
ate regard for the beft interefts of the people both of America 
and Great Britain, I here fuggeft an expedient, which, if 
adopted, feems to bid fair to enfure a permanency of peace to 
the nations on both fides of the Atlantic. 
\ I lay it down as a maxim, which can on no good grounds 
be controverted, that as the interefts of the great bulk of the 
people both in Great Britain and in the American States are 
demonftrably the fame ; fo, when fairly dated and properly 
underftood, all their views refpe&ing thofe interefts are alfo 
the fame. I alfo affirm, (and certainly with ftronger grounds 
of probability than any man can have who may fee fit to take 
the contrary fide,) that it never was the ferious wim either of 
the one or the other to feparate. It will be remembered, 
that, in making thefe declarations, I mean the great body of 
the people in both countries, and with a tQtal difregard to 
any counter-declarations, however confidently made, of any 
party men in either country ; fuch men being, at lead in 
this cafe, utterly unworthy of credit. With this reftriclion, 
I farther affirm, that it is the fettled perfuafion of their judg- 
ments, and the mod cordial wi(h of their hearts, to unite 
It is not more their inclination, than it is. their in- 


' I have no hcfuation to own, that thefe ftrong declarations, refpe&ing 
the undiminiflied attachment of the people of America to the Parent State, 
are, as might be expected, made chiefly on the authority of private infor- 
mation. I know, however, of no public counter-declarations which con- 
tradict them ; and many might be referred to, where they are directly and 
ftrongly continued. The following, as one of the lateft, and in other re- 
Ipefts not the kail remarkable, is fo pointed, that it might almoft be fuf- 
pedted to have been written with the fame view as that which I am now 
contemplating : - 

c - Bora of the fame parents, fpcaking the fame language, endowed with 

" fimilar 


terefl, to be again united j not indeed as formerly, that is to 
fay, as Parent State and Colonies ; nor even on fuch a foot- 
ing as Great Britain and Ireland, or as England and Scot- 
land, and ftill lefs as France and her newly created republics 
are united ; but on the broad bafis of two diilant, dlftincS^ 
and completely independent States. They mould form an 
alliance, to comprehend not only a certain community of 
commercial interefts, but, though perfectly independent, 
fome confiderable degree of community in government. 
The fubjecls of the one mould be the fubje&s of the other ; 
with this difference only, that though each country fnould 


* fimiiar manners, habits, and difpofitions, their hearts" (i. e. thofe of the 
people of Great Britain, Ireland, and America) " are the fame ; they yearn 
" towards each other with fraternal affe6tion : and as they are the moft 
<( natural, fo will they be the rnoft faithful allies'; and the moft beneficial 
" to each other of all the nations of the earth ; and whofoever would fet 
*' them at variance, muft be the common enemy of both. United, they 
" may defy the power of all the world : their profperity, their fovereignty^ 
'*. their independence, nay their very exiftcnce, are connected together. To 
A America, Great Britain and Ireland, the allegory of the bundle of twigs 
" may with rrri<5teft propriety be applied. 

" They have contended, they have fought, they have bled: the quarrel 
" is forgotten ; may their wounds never again be opened ! It is not the 
" genius of this people to bear malice : they are brothers they ftretch 
" forth their arms acrofs the Atlantic to embrace. Not the fraternizing 
" hug of France No ! but the tender, the fentimental embrace of chil- 
'< dren of one family. 

" America reveres the name, and is proud of the virtues, of England. 
" It is, I repeat it, their intereft to coalefce to be more clofely united in 
" friendfhip than ever. But, in their union, they will never forget the 
" rights of humanity, the welfare and happinefs of mankind at large.'' 
< I have ever been inclined to regard myfelf as a citizen of Great Britain, 
as well as of America ; and I am perfuaded the great majority of my 

" countrymen think in the fame manner." A Defcriptive Sketch of 

the prefent State of Vermont, by J. A. Graham, LL.D. &c. in 1797, 
p. i & 5- 



continue to make laws for themfelves, the fubje&s of eaclv 
{hould be amenable in all cafes to the laws of that in which 
they refided, with an unreftri&ed participation of every pri- 
vilege : fo that an American refiding in Great Britain, or in 
any of her dominions, {hould, during fuch refidence, be, to 
all intents and purpofes, a Briton ; and vice verfd* Each 
{hould guarantee the defence of each, not merely as an all? 
and a friend, but as an integral part of itfelf, ONE AND 


It is no more within my province, than it is within the 

Apparently in oppofition to the fentiments here recommended, Mr. Pre- 
fulent Adams, in hisfpeech of the i6th of May Jaft, fays roundly, that the 
States of America " ought not to involve themfelves in the political fyftetn 
" of Europe, but to keep themfelves always diftindt and feparate from it, if 
*' they can." This is fo very generally exprefled, and qualified alfo by fo 
many fubfequent falvos, as, when fairly analized, to amount to little more 
than a trueifm. Any of the States or Kingdoms of Europe might fay the 
fame : it is, in fact, the actual policy which is at prefent put in practice 
both by Sweden and Denmark. As " the political fyftem of Europe" i* 
at prefent conftituted, the Prefident's pofition is incontrovertible : but, 
confcious as the Prefident is of " the weight of America in that balance of 
" power," which it is the policy of Europe to fupport ;[and confcious alfo 
that European alliances are not unneceflary to America to preferve her ba- 
lance of power, will he contend, that, if fuch an alliance with an European 
Power as has been here fuggefted could be effected, it would then be 
the intereft of America to ftand aloof, and to "keep themfelves always 
" ciitlinct and feparate from the political fyftems of Europe j Inftead of 
thus meanly begging, as it were, by a timid caution, to be permitted to 
remain neutral, it mould be the high-fpirited yc?t prudent policy of America 
to render herfelf refpectable and refpecled, by an alliance which could 
have little to hope and lefs to fear from any of " the political fyftems of 
" Europe." The Prefident himfelf will perhaps judge more favourably of 
this policy, when he reflects, that, mould America and Great Britain, 
through that time- ferving fyftem which has fo often difgraced and been 
fatal to their politics, neglect to form fuch an alliance, mere neceflity may 
ere long compel many of the Powers of Europe to form a general coalition 

IP preferve their own neutrality and. independence t 




compafs of my abilities, to delineate in detail the plan of fuch 
a fcuLrul union as I am iolicitous to recommend between 
thefe two great countries. About ten years ago, Sir John 
Dalrymple, (truck with the fame ideas on this fubjel as have 
now very forcibly imprefled themfelvcs on my mind,, gave 
his thoughts to the Public with great clearnefs, and no lefs 
fbrength *. It v/ould be difficult to account for the general 
neglect into which a paper of fuch profound and important 
political wifdom has been fuffered to fall, were it not known, 
that this valuable writer, having had the ill fortune, in the 
courfe .of his refearches, to detect the intrigues and the cor- 
ruptions of fome eminent patriots in a preceding age, thereby 
rendered himfelf irretrievably unpopular with their fucceflcrs, 
the patriots of this age. Few men can be fp little acquainted 
with the character of the times in which we live, as not to 
know how eufy it is for any 'of the popular leaders of our 
parties, by various means, to render a.ny writings and any 
writer unpopular j and not to know alfo, that no other merits, 
which either the one or the other may happen to poffefs, can 
atone for the demerit of unpopularity. 

Unawed, however, even by the apprehenfions of 3 fimil'ar 
fate, I go on to obferve, that though perhaps, in the prefent 
temper of mankind, a project which neither promifes to pull 
down one party, nor to let up another, has .little chance to 
find either favourers or friends, both countries may ere long 
be driven to adopt it through neceffity. Were it poflible 
that, amidft all this din of party, the JliU fmall voice of the 
People, properly fo called (which is as far from, being clamo- 
rous as that of thofe who on all occafions are fo forward to 
call themfelves the people is fure to be fo,) could be heard, it 
would not be necellary to wait to be thus driven. But fuch 
are the untoward circurnftances both of Great Britain and 

' : Sec his Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. ii. 4:0. 
Appendix, No. 2, p. 44, 


America in thefe refpetts, that thofe perfons who are pro- 
bably the lead qualified, and certainly (as far as having much 
at flake in the welfare of a State can make it proper for any 
perfons to take a lead in the direction of ic's public affairs) 
the leaft proper exclufively to become public men (I mean 
party men), have notwithstanding, in both countries, long 
been fuch, and too probably will long continue to be fuch. 
O that the people, feeing their error, and their misfortune in 
thus fubmitting to be the dupes of thofe who in general 
are their ftiperiors only in confidence, would at length have 
the refolution (the ability they already have) to aflcrt their 
undoubted right and no longer bear to be the marketable 
property of a new fpecies of public men, who fludy the arts 
of debate, and purfue politics merely as a gainful occupation ! 
Then, (if haply no prior revolution in either country mould 
before that time have rendered the attempt impracticable,) 
and then only, might we hope to fee the people aroufed to 
forne good purpofe, and intermeddling in affairs of State 
xvith propriety and advantage ; and then, too, would this idea 
of a new, ftrong and durable confederation be realized. 
Whenever it is accomplished, it will go a great way towards 
bringing all the ends of the world together in harmonious 
conucl:. A triple cord of irrefiftibde flrength would thus 
be formed by the compact union of three of the happieft 
countries in three quarters of the world. The Eaft and the 
Weil would thus confpire, with amicable and generous rival- 
fhipj to fupply the European market with their refpeclive 
overflowings: whilft this QUEEN of ISLES offers them a 
depot, in which they may lodge their various merchandifes, 
the mod fecure, the moll central, and in all refpects the mod 
advantageous, of any that is to be found in Europe. Even 
the fca-itinefs of the dimenflons of this propofed centre of 
onion would be an advantage to the union, as being moft 
cafily defended ; and alfo lefs likely to interfere with cither 

l P H E P A C 

of the other in any ftaple produce : and it would be a iufli* 
cient gratification of her ambition, that the other members 
of the union, however fuperior either in fize or opulence, 
are ftill her children- j and fhe flill their workfhop. In fuch 
an allotment there is no degradation j if there were, it would 
be that only of a parent who, no longer under a necefiity of 
labouring for the fupport of his children, happily has children 
who think it their honour and happinefs to u rock the cradle 
<e of repofing age." 

That towering projedl; of univerfal Monarchy, for the fake 
of which France, for centuries paft, has convulfed all Europe, 
and for which {he too probably will continue to convulfe it 
for centuries to come, may thus be realized ; and this not 
only without injury or danger to the reft of the world but 
without exciting the apprehenfion of any. For fuch an 
univerfal Monarchy would be the fure harbinger of an uni- 
verfal Peace. It's ilrength would be fo far beyond all pofli- 
bility of competition, that it could have nothing to dread 
from any affailants. .As little would other powers have to 
dread from it ; becaufe the chief aim of fuch an union would 
be the forming an infurmountable barrier againft ambitious, 
diforderly and refractory men of all countries. Equally dif- 
pofed and equally able to overawe aliens into peace, and to 
keep any turbulent members of it's own within bounds, the 
cLear, fimple, and manly rule of it's conduct would be 

" Pacifque imponere morera, 

" Parcere fubje&is, & debellare fuperbos." 

Virg. Jn. lib. vi. 1-853. 

Hitherto, with all the advantages of her glorious Confti- 
tution, it has ftill been the fate of this ifland to be diftrafted 
by the ftruggles of contending parties. By whatever diffe- 
rent names fuch parties may, in different periods of our 
hiftory, have feen lit to be diftinguifhed, it may eafily be 



proved from that hiftory, that, as parties, they have all in- 
variably purfued one end ; of which the real interefts of their 
country have feldom been a part. America, though happily 
placed without the vortex of European politics, is, however, 
not lefs expofed than we are to the arts of factious men of 
her own ; to whom alfo the factious of other countries al- 
ways find eafy accefs : and (he has perhaps ftill lefs power 
than we have to refill arid defeat their machinations, and to 
quell domeftic broils *. During their connection with Great 
Britain, I remember having often henrd it remarked, what an 
inftanceof felicity it was to the Americans, that, in all then? 
local difputes between one province and another, they could 
always refort to a competent, impartial, and equitable um- 
pire f. By adopting the union here propofed, America 

* " This fpirit (of party) is infeparable from our nature, having it's 
" root in the ftrongeft paffions of the human mind. It exifts under diffe- 
" rent fhapes in all Governments, more or lefs ftifled, controuled, or re- 
<f preflfed ; but in thofe of the popular form, it is feen in it's greateft rankr- 
" ncfs, and is truly their worft enemy. 

The alternate domination of one faction over another, fharpened by 
* { the fpirit of revenge, natural to party difTenfion, which in different ages 
" and countries has perpetrated the moft horrid enormities, is itfelf a 
" frightful defpotifm. But this leads at length to a more formal and per- 
4< manent defpotifm. The diforciers and miferies, which refult, gradual IT 
" incline the minds of men to feek fecurity and repofe in the abfolute 
** power of an individual : and fooner or later the chief of fome prevailing 
" faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this dif- 
" pofition to the purpofes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public 

" Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which ncver- 
" theleis ought not to be entirely out of fight,) the common and continual 
" mifchiefs of the fpirit of party are fufficient to make it the duty of a 

' wife people to difcourpge and reftrain it." Mr. Washington's Ad- 

drefs, &c. George Town edition, 1796, p. 9. 

f This too, I will venture to afiert, Ireland had, whilft the Britifh Houfe 
#f Peers was her dernier refort in appeals from her courts of juftice. 



would recover this advantage : " fhe would not only gain 
" protection in war, that protection which has often faved 
her and a renewal of ihe favours to her trade, thofe fa- 
" vours which have enriched her ; but, what is far more 
" material to her than either, fhe would be enabled to- en- 

" force her own Conilitution and Laws her fu- 

" preme power would be ftrengthened in the imaginations of 
" her fubjects ; and being entitled, by the terms of the union, 
<e to aik aiTiitance equally againft enemies and rebels, they 
(( would command that reality of power to protect their 
" Conftitution, and enforce it's regulations, without which 
" no Government, at lead no great Government, ever did, or 
" ever can ftand*." 

41W 11 ****'"** ~ 

The prefent feafon of apparent repofe enjoyed by America 
as to be regarded rather as an intermiffion of ficknefs, than 
as confirmed health a kindly granted by Providence, that, 
profiting by paft mifcarriages, fhe may have leifure to devife 
means effectually to prevent their return. Thofe perfons 
who have had the moil experience of difeafe, are mod likely 
to underftand, and be fenfible of, the great value of health. 
By parity of reafoning, the people of America, having now 
experienced the danger of an inadequate Government, may 
feem to be beft qualified to appreciate the value of one that 
is adequate. If they really have obtained th'is wifdom, and 
are alfo in a capacity to carry it into practice, they now may, 
by the bleflfing of God, recover that importance, eafe, arid 
fafety, which, in an evil hour, they loft ; and when they are 
recovered, they will alfo better knew by what means they 
may hereafter be preferved. Then, though, in the words of 
an elegant hiftorianf, the form of government which they 
have " chofen be little likely to be lafting in itfelf, or to give 
" power and happinefs to thofe who live under it ; yet, as in 

: * Sir John Dalrymple ; fee the paflage above quoted. 
f Mr. Mitford. See his Hift. of Greece, vol. i. p. 183. 



Cf the natural body, a fever often leads to the renewal of the 
w conftitution ; fo, ftill more in the political, advantageous 
cr eftablifhments commonly owe their very conception to 
n violent diforders." 

If, however, unconvinced of the wifdom and utility of the 
rheafure here fuggefted, deterred by its apparent impractica- 
bility, or diftieartened through a deficiency of that energy of 
national character which alone can aroufe them to fo extra- 
ordinary an exertion of public fpirit, the people of America 
fhould not fee fit to countenance this plan, let no fupercilious 
politician of our own, tutored in the chapel of St. Stephen, 
with his mind wholly occupied with financial calculation, and 
the balancing of parties, (now become almoft the only ob- 
jects of the ftudy of Statefmen,) raihly ridicule me for ven- 
turing yet to hint another expedient, by which, if adopted, 
\ve may hope to efcape the impending ftorm, only becaufe it 
fo little accords with any fchemes of modern politics, f Ex- 
traordinary times and circumftances call for and juftify extra- 
ordinary meafures V ; When, therefore, in 1761, the kingdom 
of Portugal was invaded by the Spaniards, it was not, in my 
eftimation, merely an effort of defpair, but a project of deep 
and found political judgment, in the Marquis de Pombal, to 
propofe to remove the feat of government to the Brazils. 
All due precautions were taken, and calculations made as to 
the number of veflels neceflary to tranfport the royal family, 
Sec. acrofs the Atlantic *. The nation (hewed great want of 
wifdom only when they abandoned the project, on the removal 
df that danger which firft" fuggefted it , for, in the prefent cir- 
cumftances of Europe, mould the principles on which the 
republic of France is founded ever be completely eftabliftied, 
it is romantic to hope that either Portugal, or any other fmali 
State, whatever it's form of government may be, can long 

* See Sir Geo, Staunton's EmbafTy to China, vol. i. p. 181. 

f prefervc 


preferve any other independence than fuch as Poland, Bra- 
bant, Holland, Italy, &c. have preferved 5 unlefs, like Great 
Britain, they can and will be contented, even during a few 
fhort and precarious intervals of peace, to reft on their arms. 
The people of Portugal will hardly deferve either indepen- 
dency or freedom, if, when ere long it may haply be in 
their power to refume this project, it is not refumed and car- 
ried into effect. This golden opportunity the Dutch, cramped 
by the narrow and contracted fyftem of their local politics, 
have now loft for ever. Had that people, hitherto regarded 
as eminently fagacious, on the firft breaking out of the pre- 
fent confufions, when it was known that their country was 
the chief object of the revolutionary rage, inftead of thofe 
divided and diftrated politics by which they have been un- 
done, manfully refolved to migrate to the Cape of Good 
Hope, they might, inftead of being now one of the unluftrous 
farellites of France, ftill have been a great and happy nation. 
Admitting, then, (what is almoft too dreadful to admit, even 
hypothetically,) that there is now no hope left of any future 
permanent peace to Europe, and that America, fecure, as me 
inay imagine fhe is, in her ifolated fituation, refolves to ftand 
aloof, what is to hinder Great Britain, whilft yet fhe pofleffes 
fleets, wealth, Ikill, and fpirit, and above all, whilft yet fhe 
poflefles her ancient uncontaminated principles, fromjtranf- 
porting her empire to the EaftPj There, in the peninfula of 
India, without abandoning either her dominions in Europe, 
or in the Weft Indies, fhe might poflefs a territory inferior in 
extent only to the neighbouring kingdom of China , who, 
from her love of peace, would be as good a neighbour as 
France, from it's contrary character, always has been, and 
always .will be, a bad one. There, Chappy in being placed 
beyond the troubled politics of Europe, blefled with a foil 
and a climate equal to any on the globe, with every poflible 
circumftance in our favour for commerce, we might, without 


PREFACE* Ixxxiii 

any of that great danger which muft ever attend the attempt 
in an old eftablifhment, repair and renovate our Conftitution : 
and there, undifturbed by republican projects, fo abhorrent 
to the genius of Afia, we fliould need no alliance ; but leave 
our pofterity, if true to one another, at peace with them- 
felves and with all the world. 

IT now remains only that I entreat my Readers to accept 
with candour and kindnefs this well-meant endeavour to 
communicate to them fome information, and to render them 
fome fervice. For my principles and my doctrines I aik no 
other indulgence than that, in this age of liberty, I may at 
length be permitted to avow them, if without praife, yet 
without danger. My fmcerity, I truft, will not be queflioned. 
If, in dating what I believe to have been fa&s, I have erred, 
it muft be owned that I have gone wrong with fuch means 
of being right as not many others have enjoyed. Nor can I 
with decency be contradicted in thefe ftatements, by any 
man, who, even with fuperior talents, has not had equal op- 
portunities of forming his judgment, nor given the fame 
unequivocal proofs of his fmcerity. 

That many of the dodlrines maintained in this Volume are 
no longer in fafhion, I am not now to learn. They were 
not adopted, however, without examination : and having; 
adopted them, I could neither be fo bafe towards others as 
to recommend fuch dosStrines as, though more popular, did. 
not appear to me to be founded in truth nor fo difingenu- 
ous to myfelf as to be amamed to avow what I do believe to 
be true. Sincerely do I wifti that my creed on thefe topics 
was more popular ; for my mind is of no fuch texture nor 
temperament as to find any pleafure in being fingular. I 
proteft flill more vehemently againft any imputations of 
being actuated by any political refentments. It is not, I 
believe, of the nature of fuch fentiments to be permanent : 

2 at 

"* R E F A C < 

at lead I can and do declare for myfelf, that if ever I did 
entertain any prejudices againft any men, which were more 
violent than juft, I have long outlived them. I feel, at this 
moment, infinitely lefs chagrin and indignation at the recol- 
lection of the confifcation of my property, (though it was 
my all,) and the profcription of my perfon, (by which I was 
folemnly declared to be a traitor,) than I do on reading one 
of Buonaparte's gafconading and infidious proclamations of 
the fpeeches of our own pretended patriots, who can bear 
to fee their country at the feet of an infolent and inveterate 
enemy. Under every imputation of weaknefs, refentmentj 
or corruption, to which I may be fubjected on giving my 
work to the public, I confole myfelf with the reflection of 
one who, through good report and through evil report, fpent 
his lifer in humanizing and improving mankind. " There is, 
w and ever will be, juftice enough in the world to afford 
" patronage and protection for thofe who endeavour to ad- 
*' vance truth and virtue, without any regard to the preju- 
" dices and paflions of any particular caufe and faction *." 

I was fo exceedingly difcouraged by the general prejudice, 
which ever fince the laft 'peace has prevailed in this nation- 
againfl this fubject, that thefe pieces (though fome of them 
were profefledly written with a view to publication) have 
thus long been kept from the public. In America, it is well 
known, long before I left it, the prefs was (hut to every pub- 
lication of the kind. But, feeing now, as the people of both 
countries cannot but fee with alarm,* one of the dreadful 
effects of the American revolt in the Hill more dreadful re- 
volution of Francejjl cannot but flatter myfelf that they 
will now, both of them, liften not only with patience, but 
with fome degree of intereft, to ftatements and reafonings, 
which, though the productions of a loyalift, are intended to 
be fair and impartial. To the Americans, in general, various 
matters fuggeited in this Preface and in thefe Difcourfes are 

* Spectator, No. 445. 


of the utmoft moment : for, by the eRablimment of a tre- 
mendous republic in France, the ftate of the World in gene- 
ral, and of Great Britain and America in particular, are nq 
longer what they were when the independence of America 
was fettled. That tremendous republic, it has been juftly 
obfervedby a great Statefmen, now no more, is in it's eflencc 
" inimical to all other governments : it has, by ir's eflence, a 
" faction of opinion, of intereft, and of enthufiafm in every 
" country. To us, it is a ColofTus, which beftrides our Chan- 
" nel. It has one foot on a Foreign more, and the other 
" upon the Britim foil. Thus advantaged, if it can at all 
*' exift, it muft finally prevail *." Already have fome free 
and diftant States been fwallowed up by it. Not only monar- 
chies, which are the chief objects of it's vindictive rage, 
have been (haken to their centre, but whole republics have 
been annihilated. The ancient Governments of Holland, 
Genoa, and Venice, (and, whilft I write, many in Germany,)' 
are falling to pieces. The United States .of America indeed 
flill exift, and are ftill independent : yet, at a diftance as 
they happily are from immediate contagion, they have al- 
ready felt that they are not out of the reach of her fatal 

In tranfcribing thefe Difcourfes for the Prefs, as my own 
opinions and principles have undergone no change, I have 
made a confcience of delivering them to the public very 
nearly as they were delivered from the pulpit. No aflertion, 
however hazardous or hardy, has been fupprefied : many 
things, which, though relevant and neceflary at the time, are 
now no longer fo, have notwithftanding been retained, merely 
for the fake of confiftency. Some repetitions and feeming 
contradictions have been expunged, inaccuracies corrected, 
and local allufions explained. The only material alteration 
which my work has received is in the annexation of various 
notes ; many of which, though not all, have been now firft 

* Mr. Burke's Two Letters, 1796, p. ^^ 



added. Thefe I have been tempted to add from a natural 
anxiety to juftify forne opinions of my own by the fuffrages 
of Authors of high credit ; being aware, chat many of thefe 
opinions are fuch as maybe challenged for their fmgularity*. 

I am not confcious that I have any where availed myfelf 
either of the words or the arguments of other writers, with- 
out acknowledging my obligations : if, however, any fuch 
paflages have efcaped me (a circumflance which is more than 
poffible), I hope to be pardoned both by the Authors to whom 
I am indebted for an expreflion or a fentiment, and by 
my Readers, in confideration of the length of time which 
has pafled fmce the Difcourfes were firft written ; things 
which three or four and twenty years ago were frefh in my 
memory have now long been forgotten. 

After the Publication, through various caufes, had been 


* A writer, who is fond of Note-writing, is pleafed to fay, that " per- 
" haps all Notes to Sermons, however excellent, had better be omitted : 
" they fhould be wrought into the body of the work." See Purfuits of 
Literature, part the ivth, p. 85. In Sermons written and intended to be 
delivered only from the pulpit, no doubt, Notes would be incongruous, if 
indeed they could find a place : but when fuch compofitions (which admit 
of a variety of topics) are addreffed to the world at large, every author 
feems to be at liberty to difpofe of his materials according to his own 
judgment; to call his productions effays, treatifes, difcourfes, or fermons; 
to crowd all the obfervations he may fee fit to make into the body of 
his work ; or, for the fake of illuftration, corroboration, or any other reafon, 
to throw many collateral remarks into the form of Notes. All that is of 
any moment in the cafe is, that the matter communicated, whether in a 
Note or otherwife, be pertinent and relevant. If I might be permittted, 
without giving offence, to add yet one Note more to this Note upon Notes, 
I would avail myfelf of the opportunity it affords me of expreffing my 
regret, that a writer of fuch found principles and unqueftionable abilities 
Ihould have ftained his page by fo unneceflary, not to fay fo uncharitable, 
an attack on a very meritorious body of men the Emigrant French Clergy. 
In no age or country was there ever a greater facrifice made to confcience, 
than has been made by thefe perfecuted exiles ; even among the Apoftles, 



fo long delayed, it was my intention that the Work (hould 
be pofthumous, from an idea that my thus fealing it as it 
were with my lafl breath would be the mod folemn attefta- 
tion to it's veracity in my power to give it. f But, when it 
was reprefented to me that it might appear fomething like 
cowardice not to dare to ftep forward to defend what I. have 
dared to allege, I could no longer (hrink from the publica- 
tion of my Volume whilft I ftill live to be anfwerable for 
it's contents.] That there are many errors and defects in 
my Work is highly probable : all I have to plead in their 
behalf is, that, as far as I know my own heart, they are in- 
roluntary. Any controverfy about my doctrines I beg leave 
to decline ; and, at the age of threefcore, a requefl to be ex- 
cufed from fuch a tafk, I hope, will not be deemed unreafon- 
able. But, if I have mif-ftated a fmgle fact, and much more 

confiding only of twelve, there was one traitor : in the Grand Rebellion in 
England, and in the Revolt of America, though a large majority of the 
Eftablifhed Clergy were loyal and firm, truth and candour compel us to 
own, that, in proportion to our numbers, there were far more defections 
from principle and duty than there have now been in France. A fair lift 
of all the Secular Clergy of France at the commencement of the revolution, 
ftating with exa&nefs how few there were who could be tempted to 
preferve even life and liberty by the abandonment of their principles, would, 
in thefe degenerate times, do honour to human nature, and ftill more to 
Chriftianity. That it is highly creditable to the venerable order of men 
to which they belong, even their numerous and inveterate enemies muft 
admit. Their conduct in exile has been no lefs exemplary : patient, re- 
figned and pious, they fubmit to their heavy calamity with invincible for- 
titude : of no mifdemeanor, hardly of any accidental error in conduct, 
have they been proved to be guilty fince they took ihelter among us. Of 
what other clafs of men, equally numerous, could fo much be faid ? 

To imagine that fuch a body of men, fo principled, fo humbled, with- 
out either motive or means, mould difturb our national religion, is not 
only paying to Popery fuch a compliment as it does not deferve, but isalfo 
cafting fuch a reflection both on our religion and our abilities to defend it, 
a?, God be thanked, we may alfo fay we do not deferve ! 

4 if 

Ixxxviii PREFACE. 

if I have mifreprefented and wronged any man, however ob- 
fcure, or however obnoxious , on it's being pointed out to 
me, I will, with much pleafure, retraft fuch mifreprefenta- 
tion, and afk pardon of the perfon whom I have involuntarily 

For any defers in the compofition, I throw myfelf on the 
candour of the Public, who no doubt will make all-due al- 
lowances for the extreme difficulty and abftrufenefs of fome 
of the fubjecls -, the choice of which was not left to me : 
difficulties rendered dill greater by the adventitious entangle- 
ments and perplexities in which they have been involved by 
fome writers of no ordinary note 5 who, not being able to 
clear them up in a way that was confident with their owr> 
views, have contrived to render them flill more complex, and 
ftill more difficult, merely by the fubtleties of argumentation. 
The times alfo were peculiarly difficult : it was oftentimes 
hardly Icfs neceflary to attend to the manner than to the 
matter j and it was of lefs moment that an unpalatable fen- 
timent mould be ftrongly or aptly exprefled than that it 
fhould, if poffible, be fo exprefled as to afford no handle for 
very obnoxious exceptions or cavils. Caft, as my lot was, by 
Providence, in a fituation of difficult duty, in fuch an hour of 
danger, it would have been highly reproachful to have flept 
on my poft, Inveftigations of the important fubjeclis of reli- 
gion and government *, when conducted with' fobriety and 
decorum, can never be unfeafonable ; but they feem to be 
particularly called for in times like thofe in which thefe 

* " The fubjects worth a wife man's notice are religion andg 
11 ment s fuch religion and government, I mean, which exclude not, as too 
" oft they do, morality and politics ; and thefe are fubjefts that at the fame 

time moft need his attention. For though they be ordained to one end, 
" to perfect man's nature ; yet, as they purfue it by different means, they 
" muft aft in conjunction, left the diverfity of the means ihould retard or 
" defeat the attainment of the concurrent end."- - Ep. Warburton's 
Dedication of the Alliance between Church and State. 

6 Difcourfes 


Difcourfes were written times when the kings of tie earth 
Jlood up t and the rulers took counfel together againjl the Lord and, 
againft his Anointed, faying, Let us break their bonds afunder^ 
and caft away their cords from us *. 

If, therefore, in complying with this call, I have done well, 
and as is fitting the Jlory, it is that which I defired ; but if 
Jlenderly and meanly, it is that which I cGuld\ . 

" Thefe Sermons were preached with a very fingle eye ; 
" that is, with a fincere intention of confcientioufly perform- 
" ing my duty, and approving myfelf to God in my ftation, 
" by doing what lay in me (at a time of exigence) to con- 
" firm the wavering, to animate the diffident, to contain, ex- 
" cite, and advance all in their loyalty and firm adhefion to 
* c his gracious Majefty, our prefent, alone, rightful liege 
" lord 'and fovereign." And they are publiihed, becaufe 
" it is not only neceflary and proper that Churchmen {hould 
" do their duty, but that the world {hould know how they 
<c do it ; and thus fee and own that we are and will be 
** honeft J." They are publimed (to ufe the words of another 
great writer of our Church) " though for no other caufe, 
" yet for this, that pofterity may know we have not loofeljr, 
'* through filence, permitted things to pafs away as in a 
dream j." 

If haply this Volume {hould find it's way into thofe dif- 
tant regions where the greateft part of it was firft produced, 
and there mould (till be living any of thofe old friends with 
whom, in critical times, I formerly took fweet counfel together^ 
J entreat them to remember me as one who loved them and 
their country, if not wifely, yet well. If it {hould be fo for- 

* Pfal. ii. ver. *. 
f ^ Mace. xv. ver. 38* 

| Bp. Wetenhall's Preface to his Loyal Sermons, preached in Ireland 
in 1695. 

See the firft fentence ia the Preface to Hooker's Ecclefiaftical Polity. 



tunate as to fall into the hands of any of the inhabitants of 
the different parifhes which I held in Virginia and in Mary- 
land*, (many of whom once were my willing hearers, and, 
at the rifque of more than blame, liftened with a refpe&ful 
attention to feveral of thefe very Sermons,) I intreat their 
acceptance of them in their prefent form, I intreat them to 
confider this Book as the legacy of one who ftill bears it in 
mind, with pleafure and with pride, that he once was their 
faithful and favourite paftor. In this world we are fevered, 
to meet no more ; but we may meet again when ere long 
both they and I fhall be called on to give account (at a tri- 
bunal where paffion and prejudice can have no place) they, 
how they received inftru&ion and I, what inftrulion I 
communicated, and in what manner. God grant that nei- 
ther they may have been unprofitable hearers nor I, after 
'wg preached to other s> myfelf be a caftavuay .' 

* The Veftry of the Parifh of Hanover in the County of King George, 
in that part of Virginia which is called the Northern Neck, did me the 
honour to nominate me to the Rectory of their Parifh, in 1761, before I 
was in orders. Tempted by the conveniency of a better houfe and a glebe, 
I afterwards held the Parifli of St. Mary's, in Caroline County, Virginia, 
lying on the fame navigable river of Rappahanock. When the late Sir 
Robert Eden, Bart, became the Governor of Maryland, he was pleafed to 
appoint me Rector of St. Anne's in Annapolis, and afterwards of Queen 
Anne's in Prince George's County, from which I was ejected at the Re- 

This lift of my preferments (fet down here merely to avoid a cumbrous 
account of them in my title-page) is not large ; but they were honourably 
obtained, and I reflect on them with gratitude. All I have to add to 
this lift is, the fmall living which I now hold, beftowed on me thirteen 
years ago, without felicitation, by an eminent fcholar, who then knew me 
only by character. 



JL RE FACE - ^ from page i. to page xc. 



ISA. ii. 4. They fhall beat their fwords into plow- 

fhares, and their fpears into pruning-hooks : nation (hall not 
life up fword againft nation ; neither mall they learn war 
any more. - . - - j 



JUDG. xvii. 5, 6. And the man Micah had an houfe of gods, 
and made an ephod and teraphim, and confecrated one of his 
fons, who became his prieft. In thofe days there was no king 
in Ifrael, but every man did what was right in his own eyes - 46 



ISA. v. 5, 6, 7. And now, go to, I will tell you what I will do 
to my vineyard : I will take away the hedge thereof, and it 
fhall be eaten up ; and break down the wall thereof, and it 
fhall be trodden down. And I will lay it wafte : it fhall not 
be pruned nor digged, but there fhall come up briers and 
thorns. I will alfo command the clouds, that they rain no 
rain upon it. For, the vineyard of the Lord of Hofts is the 
houfe of Ifrael, and the men of Judah his pleafant plant : and 
he looked tor judgment, but behold opprefiion ; for righteouf- 
nefs, but behold a cry 89 




DEUT. vi. 6, 7. And the words which I command thee this 
day ihall be in thine heart. And thou (halt teach them dili- 
gently unto thy children, and malt talk of them when thou 
fitted in thine houfe, and when thou walkeft by the way, and 
when thou lieft down, and when thou rifeft up - - 152 



PROT. xxiv. 21. My Son, fear thou the Lord, and the King ; 
and meddle not with them that are given to change - - 202 



JOHN iv. 9. for the Jews have no dealings with the Sa- 
maritan* 241 



PSAL.XI. 3. If the foundations be deftroyed, what can the 
righteous do ? - ~ . 294 



GEN. xiii. 7, 8. And there was a ftrife between the herdfmen 
of Abram's cattle, and the herdfmen of Lot's cattle : and the 
Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And 
Abram faid unto Lot, Let there be no ftrife between thee and 
me, I pray thee ! and between thy herdfmen and my herdf- 
men j for we be brethren . - 3* 



fc SAJ*. xviii. 33. And the king was much moved, and went up 
to the chamber over the gate, and wept : and as he went, 
thus he faid, O my fon Abfalom, my fon, my fon Abfalom ! 
would God I had died for thee, O Abfalom, my fon, my fon ! 3 76 



2 SAM. xvii. 23, And when Ahitophel faw that his counfel 
was not followed, he faddled his afs, and arofe, and gat him 
home to his houfe, and put his houfhold in order, and hanged 
himfelf, and died, and was buried in the fepulchre of his 
father - - 40* 

APPENDIX to the two Sermons on ABSALOM and AHITO- 
PHEL - - 435 



JOSH, xxii, 22. The Lord God of gods the Lord God of 
gods he knoweth, and Ifrael he mall know, if it be in re- 
bellion, or if ifi tranfgreffion againft the Lord (fave us not 
this day) = 450 



GAL. v. i. Stand faft, therefore, in the liberty wherewith 
Chrift hath made ui free - 495 



NEH. vi. 10, ii. Afterward I came unto the houfe of She- 
maiah, the fon of Delaiah, the fon of Mehetabeel, who was 
fhut up : and he faid, Let us meet together in the houfe of 
God, within the temple, and fet us fhut the doors of the 
temple ; for they will come to flay thee, yea in the night 
will they come to flay thee. And I faid, Should fuch a man 
as I flee ? and who is there that, being as I am, would go 
into the temple to fave his life I I will not go in - - 561 


Tage Line 

56 i dele In vain, 

109 20 after /aivs, before have, infert to. 

Hi in the note, dele the commas marking a quotation, 

118 1 6 after dtftrine, infert a comma. 

149 26 for t hem read the, and before jealous infert people. 

i So 25 deley><?7 //. 

j8r 26 read oil- olive. 

1 86 6 for texture, TV&& feature. 

191 3 for ^/, read has; and ditto, 1. 9, dele the bad. 

1 93 2 7 place a full flop after invaded, and begin the next fentence with a capital T. 

194 19 after matter, dele the comma. 

199 20 dele the comma after inftances, place one after abundance, and dele that 

after men. 
Ditto 27 dele the comma after education, put the mark of a parenthefis before 

a piElure, and another after the life. 
413 1 6 dele neither. 

248 2. dele But and the comma after it, and put a capital R to religiout. 
2.70 1 6 for any read fame. 

284 14 place marks of quotation before injudicious, and after dejlgning. 
286 6 for even read "i/?r. 
290 16 put a comma after /6m; and 1. 17, a comma alfo, inftead of afcmicolon, 

after the Lord. 
308 a 6 read ^r. 

310 ig for comprehenfebly, read comprehenjively. 

36? i of the note, dele the femicolon after circumJlanctS) and put a comma there. 
4 6 7 5 lead /r/. 

567 20 dele a defeat : and 1. 23. infert a defeat at the beginning of the line. 
5^o firft note, 1. f , after the firft sum, add a comma : and 1. 2, of ditto, after 

//. ///. add 6. 
59 r 3 put the bracket of a parenthefis; a comma after had, and another after 

lately; and" dele ulont ; and 1. 5, put another parenthefis bracket after 




ISAIAH, ch. ii. ver. 4. 

They Jhall beat their fwords info ploW- 
and their f pears into pruning -hooks : nation Jhall not 
lift up fword againft nation ; neither fo all they learn 
war any more. 

A STATE of war is incompatible with a flate of 
innocence : had the world, therefore, before the Fall, 
been peopled as it now is, perfect tranquillity would 
have been the lot of the human race : but our'firft 
parents, though they were fheltered and protected 
in Paradife from natural and moral evil, were no 
fooner driven out than they were expofed to the 
fury of the elements, and to the conflicts of ungo- 
vernable paffions : and the evil fpirit of difcord and 
flrife, which firft armed brother againft brother, hath 
defcended, like an hereditary leprofy, to all fuc- 

* Preached at the Upper-Church, and at Bray's, in Leeds- 
Town, ia Hanover Pariflj, King George's County, Virginia. 

B ceeding 


ceeding generations. The Heathens, more fallen 
than their brethren of the Patriarchal race, (among 
\vhom the fplendour of the original revelation, though 
often dimmed, was never wholly extinguifhed,) ap- 
pear to have entertained a rooted averfion to a life of 
harmony and brotherly love. Their hiftory, as re- 
corded by Scripture, is one unvaried fcene of carnage 
and defolation : nor can we be furprifed, that, in times 
when warfare was the predominant paffion and em- 
ployment of mankind, moral excellence and military 
prowefs fhonld be confounded; and that even among 
the moil civilized of Pagan nations, the fame appel- 
lation fhould be applied to valour and to virtue *. 

* It is fmgular, that, in feveral languages, the fame word which 
figniiies a robber, or one who fubiifts by rapine, alfo fignifies a 
foldier. In Latin, latro is not unfrequently ufed to denote a 
foldier. Thus, in Plautus, " Ego idem latrones holies bello & 
'viitute contudi." Amphitryon, aft. iv. fc. 6. 1. 54. And again r 

" Rex Sekucus me opere oravit maxumo 
" Ut fibi latrones cogerem & confcribere'm." 

Miles Gloriof us/ aft. i. fc. 1. 1. 75. 

'Even fo late and accurate a writer as Cicero alfo ufes latrociniwn 
in the fenfe of open war : " Sine dubio perdidimus hominem, mag- 
'* nificeque vicimus, cum ilium ex occultis iniidiis in apertum latro 
" cinium conjecimus." Orat. in Catilinam^ 2da, i. 

In like manner, the French term brigand (which is, originally, 
a Celtic compound, denoting the men of the farther, or diftarit, 
kcnts, or hills, after wards called brlgantes^] denotes both a freeman, 
a mountaineer, a foldier, and a robber: all the characters, it i* 
probable, having formerly been often comprifed in one. From 
brigand the word brigade is obvioufly derived. In the Gaelic alfo, 
a ketterin originally fignifkd a warrior^ but now means only an 
Highland free-booter. 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763. g 

From the peculiar circumtfances of their country, 
4heir government, and their religion, the Jews had 
ftronger inducements than moft other nations to 
avoid war, and to cultivate peace. But, adopting 
too often, along with their idolatries, the fiercer 
policy of the furrounding nations, they, not unfre- 
quently, reverfed the injunction of the text, and 
leaf their ploiv-Jhares into fwords, and their pruning- 
hooka into fpears * : and hence, at the time of our 
Saviour's appearance, inhumanity, blood-thirftinefs, 
and war, had well nigh become the general charac- 
ter of the world. It was the proper province of the 
Prince of Peace to reftore the kingdom of peace. 

This reiteration of peace under the kingdom of 
the Meffiah is the principal circumftance alluded to 
by the text : of which, however, different men have 
given fomewhat different interpretations. It has 
fometimes been underftood, as merely foretelling 
that very general peace which took place in the 
world at the particular juncture of our Saviour's 
Advent. Hiftorians have informed us, that the Ro- 
man empire, which then comprehended the fairefl 
portion of the civilized world, enjoyed fuch profound 
tranquillity, that, foon after the battle of Actium, 
the temple of Janus was for the third time fhut. It 

* " Sarcula ceflabant, verfique in pila ligones." 

Ovid. Faft. I, 

' fqualent abdu&is arva colonis, 

" Et curvse rigidum fakes conflantur in enfcm." 

Virg. Georg. lib. i. 1. 507. 

B a was 

4 ON THE PEACE I Iff 1763. 

was highly providential that, though the decree (of 
enrolling the people had been iflued a few years 
before, on the occafion of a former peace, yet, owing 
to the breaking out of frefh troubles, it had been 
delayed, and was now again enforced. It was in this 
period of tranquillity, that Auguftus Caefar iiTued 
a decree, that all the world foould be taxed ; in obe- 
dience to which, Jofeph, and Mary his efpoufed wife, 
then great with child, went up into Bethlehem, the 
defined birth-place of the Meffiah. And it has 
often been fhewn, how propitious this circumftance 
of an univcrfal peace was to the future promulgation 

But., it is objected, that this could not be the 
whole of the fenfe of the prophecy ; not only becaufe 
the peace of that period was of a fhort duration, but 
alfo becaufe the peace which was in the contempla- 
tion of the prophet was peculiar to the kingdom of 
Chrift. This is admitted ; and> ofcourfe, it is alfo 
admitted, that the firft and mod direcl reference of 
the prophecy is to the breaking down of the Jewifh 
partition wall, and the calling in of the Gentiles. 
The imagery, as delineated in the text, is natural ; 
and particularly proper, as applied to Judea : which, 
being a land of vines, as well as a land of corn, re- 
quired both the pruning-hook and the plough : and 
being alfo, notwithstanding all the various advantages, 
derived either from its fituation, or its government, 
ftill expofed to the incurfions of various mrrounding 
warlike nations, its inhabitants were too often under 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763* j 

the neceffity of changing the harmlefs implements 
of the hufbandman, for the definitive weapons of 
the foldier. 

The true fenfe, then, of the whole of my text, feems 
to be this. When Chriftianity fhould become the 
univerfal religion of mankind, then, laying afide all 
former enmities, the whole world fhould unite, and 
(cemented by the ftrong bonds of Chriftian faith and 
Chriftian charity) literally be one people *. The Jew 

. fhould 

* This almoft miraculous change of temper, effected by Chrifti- 
anity, is well exemplified by Tertullian, in the inftance of St. Paul ; 
who, before his converfion, had breathed out threatening* and Jlaughter 
againft, and even perf touted to death, the converts to Chriftianity. 
After his converfion, he changed his fword into a pen ; and hi* 
fpear into the gentler, but more efficacious, weapons of Chriftian 
argument and perfuafion. A ravenous wolf, like Benjamin, in the 
morning he divided the frey t and at night he divided thefpoil, 

Tertull. adverfus Gnofticos, cap. xiii. 

'* Et continent mach&ras fuas in aratra t & zibynas in fakes : id eft, 
" animorum nocentium, & linguarum infeftarum, & omnis mali- 
" tiae atque blafphemias ingenia convertent in ftudia modeftiae & 
" pacis. Et non accipiet gens fupra gentem machaeram, utiquc 
" difcordiae; & non difcent amplius bellare, i. e. inimicitias perficere; 
" ut et hie difcas Chriftum non bellipotentem, fed paciferum, re 
t( promiffum."- Tertull. adverf. Marcion. lib, iii. cap. 21. 

" Quanquam ifta quae dicitis bella religionis noilrae ob invidfam 
<* commoveri, non fit difficile comprobare, poft auditum Chriftum in 
' mundo, non tantum non aufta, verum etiam ex parte furiarura 
' compreffionibus imminuta. Nara cum hominum vis tanta (nempc 
per omnes gentes diffufa) magifteriis CJHS acceperimus & legibus, 
* raalum malo non rependi opportere ; fuum potius fundcre, quam 

B 3 *' alien* 

6 ON THE PEACE IH 1763, 

fliould embrace the Gentile, and the Gentile the Jew ; 
and the only rivalfhip between the moft contending 
nations thenceforward fhould be, who could beft pro- 
mote the glory of their Mailer's kingdom (not as the 
Jews had too often fought to advance their temporal 
glory ; not in the way that has iince been taken by 
the Impoilor of the Eaft, by arms, and by war ; but) 
by difplaying that temper of meeknefs and forbear- 
ance which are the eminent charadleri flics of Chrifli- 
anity. And the true difciples of Jefus are, in fact, 
all, of this blefTed evangelical temper. Whatever be 
their nation or condition JChriftians are, by profeffion, 
peaceable, and peace-makers., The fpirit of conten- 
tion, and the fpirit of war, belong not to the character 
of Chriftians ; who are taught to confider it as the firft 
condition of their religion to be (like their Mailer) 
meek and lowly, and not eafily provoked ; and of fuch 
unbounded charity as to love even their enemies*. 


" alieno polluere maims & confcientiam cruore ; habet a Chriftq 
" jamdudum orbis ingratus, per quern feritatis mollita eft rabies, 
" atque hoftiles manus cohibere a fanguine cognati animantis oc- 
" ccepit." Arnobius adv. Gentes, lib. i. p. m. $, 6. 

* The promulgation of Chriitjanity not only refcued the world 
from numberlefs other evils, but, in fome degree, from the ravages 
of war. Such was the f^d flate of things previous to the coming of 
the Prince of Peace y that, according to Eufebius, even boys learned 
the art of war : and even in villages, the country men (as though 
they had been ftung by the oeftrum, or pofTeffed by a demon) were 
perpetually fighting with each pther. But no fqoner did Chrift 



After all, it is not necefTary to reftrain this memor- 
able prophecy to events that have already happened. 
Like fome other prophecies, and fome other parts of 
Scripture, this probably has not yet had its full com- 
pletion. It will then only be fulfilled when, after a 
fong day of darknefs, during which the Church of 
Chrift has been eclipfecl by the thick clouds of igno- 
rance and irreligion, it (hall pleafe God, by the bright 
beams of the glorious Sun of the Gofpel, to difpel 
error, and to caufe truth to fhine forth with all its own 
celeftial fplendour. The fulnefs of the Gentiles /ball 
come in, and the Captain of our Salvation, fpiritually 
going forth conquering and to conquer, (hall fubdue all 
his enemies. And then we too, and all his fervants, 
having fought the good fght of faith, (hall accomplijh 
9ur warfare, and obtain that blefTed reft promifed 
to his Church now militant here upon earth. 

Thus confidered, the text perfectly well harmonizes 
with the whole fcheme of Chriftianity ; which un- 
doubtedly is, ihni.righteoufnefs and peace Jhould kifs 
each other ; and that, in Jefus the world might have 

appear, than all that had been foretold began to be fulfilled. The 
power of the Romans, heretofore fo irrefiitible, was no longer in 
vincible ; and, though the fpiritual kingdom of the Mefliah certainly 
did not at all interfere with the civil power of any kingdom, yet the 
cftablifhment of Chriftianity and the decline of this great Pagan 
empire were almoil co-eval. And, from that time to this, war (all 
horrid as it ftill is) has worn an afpecl fomewhat lefs ferocious and 
inhuman,- Eufebii Proeparat. Evangelic, lib, i. folio, p. 10. 

B 4 feacc* 

$ ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 

feace. One of the firft duties of Chriftianity there- 
fore is that, both as individuals and as communities, 
we fhould all follow after the things wbicb make 
for $eace ; and, as far as it is pojfible, live peaceably 
with all men. Viewed even in a political light only, 
war feems to be as incompatible with an improved 
tfate of Society, as it certainly is with the doctrines of 
the Gofpel ; and it is a circumftance not a little to 
the credit of our religion, that it fo decidedly dif- 
countenances it. War is a relict of barbarifm ; 
and therefore ftill to be confidered as the virtue only 
of an uncultivated people *. And however offensive 
it might found in the ears of fome refined nations, 
who value themfelves on being alfo military nations, 
were we to go into the invefligation in any detail, 
there is reafon to believe it would be found that the 
mofl favage people are in general the moft warlike-}- . 


* The unnatural and mocking confequences of war are fummarily 
(but pathetically and flrongly) defcribed in a fpeech of Croefus to 
Cyrus, in the Clio of Herodotus : 

1 &=<? ya.% Ivru avanrcj E-* 0; Ttj TjoAe^ov 9r^c gtg**K etipttreti. \v 

p\ 7a^ tr, &i ifsuSt; T? TfetTegCK; SoitrTtHri, lv $1 TO;, 6t Ti'aTE^j ryj Tra^a^. 

A fimilar paflage occurs in Demades the orator, preferved only fa 
the rude verfes of T?etzes, Chiliad, vi. 20. 

And Polybius, in contrafting the blelfmgs of peace with the 
miferies of war, has adopted the remark, and almoft the very words 
of Herodotus. 

t This proportion is far from implying, that the leaft warlike 
nations are the mojl virtuous. Every friend to Chriftianity muft de-* 
precat^ the wars in which Great Britain has fo often been engaged : 



When, therefore, a writer on Ethics lately called the 
various tribes of Indians around us nations of heroes* ' 9 
though the term was perhaps ftriclly juft and proper, 
it certainly conveyed no compliment to the Indians, 
as he no doubt intended it (hould. The words de- 
fcribe Indians exaclly as they are ; that is, as war- 
riors and favages. As individuals, ibldiers may be, 
and I fincerely believe generally are, diftinguifhed for 
their humanity, no lefs than for their courage : but, 
as a body, they are the pefts and the fcourges of the 
world f. 


but, at the fame time it muft be admitted, that we poflefs a taftc 
for the focial arts, a fpirit of manly fentiment, of induftry, and of 
integrity, which are rarely met with among fome of the more peace- 
able nations of the fouthern parts of Europe. In modern Greece, 
in Italy, and in Portugal, (which certainly are no longer mili- 
tary nations,) idlenefs, treachery, and cowardice are faid to be the 
predominant features of national character. 

* Dr. Smith, in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. 

f " In reality, were all his (Alexander's) actions duly eflimated, 
** he could deferve no other character than that of the great cut- 
' throat of the age in which he lived. But, the folly of mankind, 
*' and the error of hiftorians, is fuch, thi.t they ufually make the 
'* adtions of war, bloodfhed, and conqueft, the fubjeft of their higheft 
" encomiums ; and thofe their molt celebrated heroes that mod excel 
" therein. Whereas thofe only are true heroes, who moft benefit 
" the world, by promoting the peace, welfare, and good of man- 
" kind:', but fuch as opprefs it with the (laughter of men, the de- 
'* folation of countries, the burning of cities, and the other calami- 
" ties which attend war, are the fcourge of God, the Attilas of 
*< the age in which they live, and the greatelt plagues and calamities 
<f that can happen to it ; and which are never fent into the world 



1 It is not one of the lead objeclions to war that it 
occafions a perverfion and inifapplication of fine ta- 
lentSjJ How many men, with difpofitions naturally 
good, who, under a well-regulated fyftem, might and 
would have been the guardians and benefactors, have 
become the butchers and deftroyers, of their kind I 
Great parts are not fo common, that the world can 
afford to bear the lofs of them. When we fee a 
Julius C^far, with all his vafl natural and acquired 
powers, {looping to be a mere warrior, we muft 
lament the wafte of fuch abilities. Compare, I pray 
you, any of the molt celebrated commanders, with 
whofe fame the world refounds ; compare them, I fay, 
with a Socrates, a Fenelon, or a William Penn ; 
and if good parts, directed to the attainment of good 
ends, be the criterion of a great character, fee how, 
on the comparifon, every mere hero will hide his 
diminifhed head. True greatnefs deferves all the 
honour that the world can pay to it : but, fields dyed 
with blood are not the fcenes in which true greatnefs 
is mod likely to be found. He who fimplifies a me- 
chanical procefs, who fupplies us. with a new con- 
venience or comfort, or even he who contrives an 
elegant fuperfluity. is, in every proper icnfe of the 
phrafe, a more ufeful man than any of thofe matters 
in the art of deftruclion, who, to the fhame of the 

' but for the punifhment of it, and therefore ought as fuch to be 

prayed againft, and detefted by all mankind." Prideaux'a 

Connexions, part i. book 7. vol. 2d. 8vo. p, 700, 



world, have hitherto monopolized almoft all its ho- 

It is at leaft harmlefs, if it be not alfo rational, to 
indulge a fond hope, that the period cannot be very 
diftant when, from the filent and unnoticed, but 
gradually prevailing, influence of Chriftianity, France 
and Great Britain, (the two foremoft nations of the 
world, which have jivft now fheathed the fword,) 
taught by long experience the better arts of peace, 
fnall learn ^var no more. O that we might live to fee 
the time when they fhould give law to the world in 
peace, as they have long done in war ! Such would 
be the great and bleffed influence of fuch an era in 
the world that he only would be the enthufiaft who 
fhould not hail it as a millenpium. 

It is no part of my purpofe at prefent to enter 
into the queftion how far war is, or is not, lawful to 
Chriftians. Merely as a point of cafuiftry, it might 
(perhaps) after all my pains, remain with you, (as I 
confefs is the cafe as to myfelf,) undecided : but 
neither you nor I can for a moment entertain a doubt, 
that war is one of the fevereft calamities with which 
the Almighty has ever feen fit to chaflife the fons of 
men. As war in the elements defolates the natural 
world, wars among men diforder and deftroy all the 
beauties of the moral world. Thunder and lightning, 
and hurricanes, and volcanos, are not more fatal in 
their refpeclive fpheres. It would not, I believe, be 
difficult to prove, from hiiiory, that no nation ever yet 
engaged in war, without being eventually a lofcr by- 


it*. If any people can be thought an exception to 
this remark, it muft be the Romans ; who, owing 
their origin to war, feem to have purfued it, through 
their whole hiflory, as a trade, and the means of 
their fubfiftence. And yet their greateft orator, in 
a flourishing, period of their empire, fcrupled not to 
prefer an inadequate and unjufl peace to the jufteil 

Not much, if at all, more civilized than the bar- 
barous nations around us were the proud mailers of 
the world. Their hiftory is compofed of little elfe 
than a wearifome fucceffion of incurtions and in- 
vafions, which, on the flighted pretenfions, they were 
for ever making on their more peaceful, but lefs 
powerful, neighbours. Thefe wars, however digni- 
fied by hiftory, are, when philofophically confidered, 
in no point of view of more confequence than thofe 
of Creek, Catavvba, or Cherokee Indians ; who want 
but a Thucydides, or a Livy, to render them as re- 
nowned as the Romans. Let but Indians be rnea- 
fured by Roman ideas, and they are not inferior to 

* " nocitura petuntur 

Militia," Juvenal. Sat. x. I. 9. 

f " equidem pacem hortari non dcfino ; quse vel injufta 

" utilior eft quam juftiffimum helium.'* Cicer. Epift. ad Atticum, 
lib. vii. epift, 14. 

" Pax optima rerum, 

" Qiias homini novifle datum eft ; pax una triumph's 
<f Innumeris potior." 

Silius Italicus, lib. xi. 1. 595. 

Romans t 


Romans : the Romans were warriors, and fo are our 
North American Indians : the Romans were the 
fcourge and the terror of the neighbouring nations ; 
and fuch, we too well know, Indians alfo are. Won* 
derful are the ways of Providence ! It was by the 
fvvord alone that the Romans became a people ; and 
by the fvvord they ceafed to be a people. A ilate of 
conftant war naturally rendered them irritable and 
quarrelfome. Hence, when they had, as they boafted, 
fubdued the world, and no foreign enemies were left 
for them to contend with, they quarrelled among 
themfelves, and fell the victims of civil war. And 
who does not fee, that thefe ill-fated nations, whom 
I have prefumed to compare with Romans, muft ere 
long, from their own natural propenfity to war, and 
from our illiberal and unchriftian lyftem of foment- 
ing their inteftine quarrels and wars, be alfo totally 
deflroyed ? Already their numbers are greatly di- 
minifhed ; and they will too furcly continue to di- 
minifh, unlefs, happily for ourfclves as well as for 
them, we fhall hereafter be fo wife and humane as to 
obferve a more j uft and generous policy towards them. 
Would we but learn to regard them as human beings, 
capable of civilization, they might foon be brought 
to break their lows, and knap their fpears afunder ; 
and beat their fwords into plow-Jbares. 

Our parent itate, and the great and powerful 
kingdom, her neighbour, arc, and long have been, 
rival nations ; the Carthage and Rome of modern 
times. The comparifon hitherto has failed in one 


14 ON THE PEACE IN 1763, 

refpect, Indeed, that though they have had as mati'y 
and as bloody wars as old Rome and old Carthage 
had, thefe wars have not yet effected the dcftrudlion 
of either. If it could be afcertained how much 
blood and how much treafure each of thefe two na- 
tions has, from age to age, expended in wars again ft 
each other; and contrafled with a fimilar enumera- 
tion of their refpeclive conquefts and acquifitions, 
it would enable both themfelves and the world to 
form a fair eftimate of the fum-total of their refpec- 
tive profit and lofs. And I am much miftaken if 
the remit would not be that all the territory, and 
all the advantages which, in all their wars, either has 
gained from the other, would be dearly paid for by 
the expenditure of a fingle year. 

If the manifeftos of the contending parties might 
be received as proofs, wars would always appear to 
be unavoidable and juft. When, however, thefe 
appeals to the public contradict each other (as they 
neceilarily muil, and always do) it is impoffible that 
both can be right. In the war now happily termi- 
nated we of this weftern world were immediately 
interefted : and therefore our opinion of its juilice 
may perhaps be fufpected of partiality. As a coun- 
ter-balance to this objection, it might be allcdged, 
that, from our fituation, we have had better means, 
and, from our more immediate intereft, were ftimu- 
lated by ftronger motives, to obtain exact informa- 
tion refpecting the true grounds of the quarrel* than 
the people either of France or England : and, with 


Otf THE PEACE IN 1763. Jj 

this advantage in forming our judgments, we have, 
both as a public and as individuals, again and again,, 
declared the war to have been, on our parts, juft. 
How far indeed any war is either jutl, or juflifiable > 
we know not : happily we do know, that the one 
now ended has ended in our favour. Yet, belides 
the enormous load of debt with which it has encum- 
bered the mother country, J(a ihare of which it is 
highly reafonable we fhould bear 3 )| and bolides all 
that we fuffered during its continuance, (the recol- 
lection of which muft Hill be painful,) our joy mufl be 
not a little checked by the reflection, that we are 
Hill left expofed to many dangers, and fubjected to 
many difficulties ; which, though we may and do 
rejoice in a peace, afford us no ground of rejoicing 
that there has been a war. 

Tempted by the imagery of my text, I cannot 
avoid here remarking, that, wherever war is fpoken 
of by the facred writers, it is generally confidered as 
acurfe, on account of the interruption it gives to the 
labours of the plow. Thus, in the prophet Joel, 
where the metaphor of the text is reverfed, war is 
ftill viewed through the medium of its influence on 
hufbandry. Prepare war ; make up tie mighty men ; 
let all the mighty men draw near ; let them come up: 
hat your flow-pares into fwords, and your pi'iming- 
looks into fpears. And the calamitous effects of war 
on hufbandry are thus pathetically defcribed : The 
feld is wafted; the land mourneth, for the corn is 
wafted ; the new wine is dried up, the oil languijbetb. 


l6 dtt TH PEACE Itf 1763. 

Be ye afoamed, ye faifbandmen ! Howl, ye 
drejfers, for tie wheat and for the barley ! becaufe the 
barveft of the field is pert/bed. The feed is rotten 
under their clods, the garners are laiddefolate, the barm 
are broken down, for the corn is withered. How do 
the beafts groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed, 
lecaufe they have no pajture ; yea, the flocks cffheep are 
made defolate. War is the natural element of men 
of fierce and turbulent minds ; who, like fome ma- 
rine birds, which are never feen but in a itorm, dwin- 
dle into infignificance in peace ; becaufe they take 
no pleafure in rural quiet and domeftic enjoyments. 
They are foldiers, and have to do with wars ; and, 
therefore, (to ufe the words, in the firft book of 
Efdras, of one of the young men, who contended for 
truth before king Darius,) they do not ufe hujbandry *. 
When the poflerity of Shimei fettled themfelves in 
Gedor, it is faid, they found fat pajlures and good. 
The reafon follows : the land was wide, and quiet, 
and peaceable. God, in his Scriptures, every where 
fpeaks of war as one of the heavieft of his judgments, 
and the moft calamitous punifhment which fin can 
draw down on the fons of men. Accordingly, he 

* In a book publiflied in 1790, intitled, Sketches of the Hindoos, 
3cc. there is a finking paffage, perfe&ly analogous to this idea. 
' The Hindoos are the only cultivators of the land, and the only 
" manufacturers. The Mahometans, who came into India, were 
" foldiers, or followers of a camp ; and even now are never to be 
" found employed in the labours of husbandry or the loom." See 
Sketch iv. p. 89. 

3 who 


who alone can make the creature his weapon, to 
correct and to controul the refractory and the di 
obedient, threatened his people, when they walked 
contrary to him, and would not be reformed, to fend a 
fword among them, and to bring their land into defla- 
tion. On the other hand, he held out the bleflings 
which flow from*" agriculture to the obedient : thus 
fpeaking to the Jfraelites, If ye will walk inmyflatutes, 
and keep my commandments to do them ; then I will 
give you rain in due feafon, and the land Jh all yield her 
increafe, and the trees of the ji eld Jh all yield their fruit. 
And your threjhingjball reach unto the vintage, and the 
vintage fball reach unto the f owing time : and ye Jh all 
eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your landfafely. 
And I will give peace in the land\ andyejhall lie down, 
and none Jh all make you afraid. 

Peace is welcome to us on ten thoufand accounts : 
and I do moil cordially congratulate you on the joy- 
ful occafion of the day. The ordinary occupations 
of life are now refumed ; and your fwarms of young 
men, heretofore fo frequently taken from you to go 
to war, now return to the common hive, to make and 
to eat the honey of peace. If fome have lefs glory 
all have more eafe : and even thofe who have only the 
iiecefTaries of life, now have them without peril. 
Thofe of our people who go down to the fea injhips 
and occupy their bufmefs in the deep waters now no 
longer are terrified by a double danger : if they fall 
it is into the hands of God ; they no longer have 
Violent men alfo to fear. 

C Bear 

l8 Oft THE PEACE IN 1763. 

Bear with me, I pray you, if (owing, perhaps, to 
riiy partiality to agriculture, which I have long re- 
garded as the moft pleafing of all employments) I 
congratulate you chiefly on the welcomenefs of peace 
from the leifure it will afford you to attend to huf- 
bandry. With every encouragement of a genial 
climate, and a fertile foil, it is our great fhame, and 
greater misfortune, inflead of being the foremofl people 
on the Continent, to be the mod backward : though 
it might have been expected, as we were the fir It 
province of North America which was firmly fettled, 
that we fhould by this time have attained a fuperior 
degree of improvement. Yet, if it be any excufe for 
demerit to have to alledge that there are others as 
faulty as ourfelves, we are not fingular in having 
incurred this reproach. A kind of fatality feems to 
attend fome countries. In every place, where na- 
ture has been unufually bountiful, there human in- 
duftry is proportionably rernifs. In the Southern 
parts of Europe, which are naturally fome of the 
richefl kingdoms in the world, the farmers, even in 
this age of general improvement, purfue the rnoft 
wretched fyftem of husbandry *. Their inattention 

* Spain, for inftance y according to the accounts of a modern 
traveller, is moft miferably cultivated. 

" The hufbandmen (hovel up the ftubble, weeds, and tops of 
" furrows into fmall heaps, which they burn ; then fpread them 
" out upon the ground, and work them in with a plough, which. 
^is little better than a great knife fattened to a fmgle flick, that 

" ju&fcratches the furface." Swinburne's Travels through Spain, 

8vo edit. vol. i, p, no. 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763. ig 

to the moft valuable of the arts may, perhaps, be fairly 
afcribed to the badnefs of their refpeclive govern- 

But we have no fuch folid excufe to offer for 
our fhameful neglect of agriculture. We not only 
dwell in a land of liberty but in a land abundantly 
ftored with the gifts of nature. Like the moft favoured 
people of God we have been brought into a good 
land ; a land of brooks of water, of fountains and 
depths tbat fpring out of valleys and bills ; a land of 
oil and honey ; wherein we may eat bread without 
fcarcenefs. To defcribe Virginia the exacted geo- 
grapher would be at a lofs to find terms more appo- 
lite or juft. Yet, fo far from being diftinguifhed 
by having made a fuitable improvement of fuch 
rare natural advantages, I fear we are diflinguifhed 
only by our indolent neglect of them. Were 
it not for the hope that, owing to many favourable 
circumftances now providentially thrown in your 
way, this extreme fupinenefs will not continue 
to be characteriftjcal of you, he would be far 
from deferving to be fet down as your enemy, who, 
feeing the ill ufe ye make of the rich favannahs, 
and pleafant places, in which the lines are fallen 
to you, fhould wifh you removed to the bleak and 
barren mountains of Acadia. There, neceffity 
would force you to a conduct which neither a fenfe 
of duty nor a fenfe of interefl have yet been able 
to excite. You would become induftrious; and 

Ca by 

20 ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 

by being induftrious you would of courfe alfo become 
more worthy and more happy. 

Indolence, it is probable, is every where the cha- 
racleriflic of the inhabitants of warm countries : I 
have felt its influence, and therefore have lefs referve 
in owning that it is ours. As a proof of it permit 
me to mention, what I have often obferved, that moft 
of your inventions (in which, as far as mere natural 
talents go, no people are more ingenious) are calcu- 
lated, not immediately to improve either arts or fci- 
ences, but merely to leflen labour. 

But, however freely I may allow myfelf to cenfure 
you where you feem to deferve cenfure, it would be 
unjuft not to allow, as I do with great pleafure, that, 
in many refpecls, you deferve praife. Your back- 
\vardnefs in hufbandry is probably not altogether to 
be afcribed to your indolence. I The marked prefer- 
ence fo long {hewn to commerce] is a ftrong indica- 
tion that agriculture has never been much favoured 
by the fettlers of America. Far be it from me to fug- 
geft a fentimcnt, or to fuffer an expreffion to efcape 
me, that is difparaging to trade. Continue to pur- 
fue it with ardour ; purfue it with fuccefs. When 
you were firft planted here, it was, I believe, (at leaft 
in the intention of the fettlers,) almoft for the (ingle 
purpofe. of. trade. That you fhould be pofTeflbrs of 
immenfe tradls of landed property, as well as a great 
trading people ; that you fhould have, almoft literally, 
an unbounded territory; and (in that refpecT: at leaft) 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 21 

referable a great kingdom rather than a fettlement 
of factors ; could hardly be in the contemplation of 
our founders. And, indeed, unlefs every thing elfe 
had been made to correfpond and keep pace with 
this very eflential change of colonial fyftem, it is by 
no means certain that we have done well in depart- 
ing from the original flan of tie plantation. Be this 
as it may, I charge this general preference fhewn 
to trade, fo injurious to agriculture, to this leading 
principle of colonization ; which no fubfcquent 
change of circumitances has yet been able wholly to 

It is high time that we fhould begin to adapt our 
conduct to our circumftances. By the foftering care 
of our parent- flate, and by our own (oftentimes well- 
judged) co-operation, and, above all, by the bleffing 
of Providence, we are become a confiderable people. 
And whatever policy might be proper in the earlier 
periods of our fettlement agriculture now claims our 
efpecial attention. IWe have few inducements to 
become artifans or manufacturers : our having much 
land, and but few people, proves that we may employ 
ourlelves to better purpofe as farmersj Bcfides, we 
can have manufactures from our fellow-fubjects be- 
yond the Atlantic better and cheaper than we can 
make them. But we have every inducement to fol- 
low the example of Uzziah, and to love bufbandry. 
Every produce of the Dearth, from almoft every fpot 
on the globe, will, with due culture, thrive and flourifh 
in Virginia. Belides wheat and Parley, we poiTefs, 

C 3 almoft 

%% ON THE PEACE IN 1 763. 

almoft exclufively, that wonderful plant*, which I 
am at fome lofs how, with propriety, to call either a 
necelTary of life or a luxury. A neceflary it cer- 
tainly is not,, fince it can neither be ufed as food or 
raiment ; neither is it a luxury., at leail in the fenfe 
of a gratification, being fo naufeous and offenfive, that 
long habit alone can reconcile any conilitution to 
the ufe of it*f~. We alfo have not only the rich 
fruits of Perfja and Alia Minor, but all the beft plants 
and fruits of Europe ; though, like the country from 
which we came, we can boail of but few indigenous 
productions. Our woods too are overbrim with lux- 
priant vines and olives ; a circumftance that fhews 
with what certainty of great fuccefs they might be 
cultivated j". Thus, if from the viciffitudes of men's 
fancies the ufe of tobacco fhould ceafe, you ftill pof- 
fefs a never-failing refource of plenty, in poffeffing a 
land, like Paleftine, of corn, and wine, and oil: and it is 
not unworthy your obfervation, that, in the three arti- 
cles juft enumerated, moll of the neceflaries, and moil 

* Tobacco, 

f Mr. Logke fays, bread or tobacco may be neglected; but 
reafon at firft recommends their trial, and cuilom makes them 

f The prophetic drains of the immortal Maro might be no lefs 
realized in America than in Italy :^ 

" Molli paulatim flavefcet campus arifta, 
" Incultifque rubens pendebit fentibus uva : 
" Et durae quercus fudabunt rofcida mella." 

Eclog, iv. 1. 28. 



of the luxuries of life are comprehended. The principal 
things, fays the wife Son of Sirach, for the whole ufe 
of mans life, are water, fire, iron, fait, flour of wheat, 
honey, milk, and the milk of the grafe, and oil, and 
cloathing. All thefe you do now actually poflefs, or 
loon may pofiefs. And as by this happy termination 
of hoftilities (blefled be God !) every man may now 
Jit under his own 'vine, and under his own fig-tree, and 
iecurely cultivate and enjoy all the fvveet arts of peace, 
ye are without excufe, if, hereafter, ye do not, like 
Noah, begin to be hujbandmen, and to plant vineyards. 
Whilft you are duly grateful, as it highly becomes 
you to be, that the lot is fallen to you in a fair ground, 
and that you have a goodly heritage, forget not, I 
charge you, by what tenure you hold thefe great 
bleffings ; nor forget how eafily (as well as certainly) 
God can and will male a fruitful land barren, for the 

wickednefs of them that dwell therein *. 


(t * It was but a final country, and a very littel plot of grownde, 
" which the Ifraelites poffeffed in the land of Canaan ; which, as 
" now is a very barren country : for that within fifteen miles of 
" Jerufalem, the countrey is wholey barren, and ful of rockes and 
" ftpney ; and unles it be about the plaine of Jerico, I know not 
" anie parte of the countrey, at this prefente, that is fruitfulle, 
" What it hath binne in tymes pafte, I refer you to the declara- 
" tion thereof, made in the Holie Scriptures. My opinion is, that 
" when it was fruitfulle, and a la?id that flowed with milk and t?oney, 
" in thofe dayes God blefied it, and that as then they followed his 
*' commandements, but now, being inhabited by infidelles, that 
* prophane the name of Chrift, and live in all beaftly and filthy 

C 4 f ' manner, 

J&4 ON THE PEACE IN 1763* 

Much has often been faid, and much may ftill be 
faid, in favour of hufbandry : but its berT recom- 
mendation is that it is favourable to happinefs by 
being favourable to virtue*. This circumftance is 
beautifully illufirated by the author of my text ; a 
man whofe mind was well flored with all the learn- 
ing of his age, and flored, in particular, with a 
knowledge of hufbandry. This will appear from the 
parable I am about to quote ; a parable well worth 
the attention of the curious, if it were only for the 
account contained in it of Jewifh agriculture. Doth 
the plowman plow all day to Jow ; doth he open and 
break the clods of his ground f When he hath made plain 
the face thereof, doth he not caft abroad the fitches, and 
Jcatter the cummin ; and caft in the principal wheat, and 
the anointed barley, and the rye in their place f For, 

*' manner, God curfeth it, and fo it is made barren ; for it is fo 
" barren, that I coulde get no bread, when I came nere unto it, 
&c.""- The Travayles of two Englyfhe Pilgrimes to Jerufa- 
lem, Grand Cairo, Gaza, and Alexandria, &c. Printed for 
Thomas Archer in 1608. 

* " C'eft dans 1'agriculture principalement, que la France doit 
*' chercher les principaux moyens de fubfiftance pour fon peuple. 
" D'ailleurs, 1'agriculture conferve les moeurs & la religion. Elle 
" rend les manages faciles, neceffaires & heureux : elle fait naitre 

" beaucoup d'enfans, &o." -Etudes de la Nature, par B. de St. 

Pierre, Lond. edit. vol. i. p. 9 3. 

See alfo Smith's Wealth of Nations, Svoedit. vol. i. p. 197. and 
vol. iii. p. 182. and The State of the Poor by Sir F. M. Eden, 
JJart. vol. i. p. 440 and p. 443, 

ON THE PEACE 1ST 1763. 45 

bis God doth inftruR him to difcretlon, and dot]} teacb 
him. For, the f teles are not threjhed wi,th a threjbing 
inftrument, neither is a cart-wheel turned about upon the 
cummin : but tie fitches are I eat en out with aftaff, and 
the cummin will) a rod. Bread- corn is bruifed, becaufc 
he will not ever be threjhing it, nor break it with the 
wheel of his cart, nor bruife it with his horfemen*. 
The do61rinal induction, or moral, couched under 
this parabolical imagery, not only intimates that, in 
the words of the Son of Sirach, the Moft High hatb 

* In Virginia and Maryland, wheat, in general, is not thrafhed, 
but trodden out with horfes ; very much in the manner defcribed ia 
the following account of this ancient practice. " They (the Euro- 
" peans) do not thrafh out their corn, but have it trodden put with 
" oxen or horfes ; nor in a barn, or covered place, but in the open 
<f air, on a floor ; which is made in the following manner. They 
4< take cow-dung, and a little ftraw ; and with water mix and work 
" it together. When they have made a fufficient quantity of this 
" loam, they fpread it pretty thick, in a circle of about ten yards 
" diameter, and turn horfes upon it to tread it clofe down. Then 
4t they leave it to harden in the fun ; and in a few days it becomes 
" as hard as a ftone. 

" On the extremities of this floor they lay two rounds of (heaves, 
" ears to ears ; and drive over them a team of eight horfes or oxen, 
(( round and round, now and then turning the (heaves, till they judge 
<f the corn is all trodden out. This ( Kolben adds) no doubt, will 
" put the Scripture reader in mind of the cuftom of treading out corn 
" by oxen among the children of Ifrael. But, for this purpofe, I 
*' muft needs prefer horfes to oxen. It is moft certain, that corn ia 
" much more expeditioufly got out of the ears by the tread of 

" horfes and oxen, than by thrafhing." Kolben's Cape of Good 

Hope ; tran dated by Medley. Vol. ii. p. 73. 


9,6 Otf THE PEACE IN 1763. 

created faijbandry * ; but that the procefs in carrying 
on the work of grace, as well as the produce or fruit 
of grace, bears a near analogy and refemblance to the 
procefs of agriculture. The courfe of proceeding in 
both cafes fcems to be accurately marked in the paf- 
fage now under confideration. The foil is firft broken 
by the plough ; it is then harrowed ; then cleared of 
weeds ; and then fown f More precife or better 
directions could not be given for the culture of 
grace ; the growth of which is alfo God's Irufbandry ; 
wherein we are directed, firft, to break up the fallow 
grounds of our hearts ; and then tofow in right eoufnefs y 
that we may reap in peace f. 


* " Prima Ceres ferro mortales vertere terram 
" Inftituit." Virg. Georg. lib. i. 1. 147. 

f Since this pafiage was written, I have noticed a fimilar com- 
parifon in Latymer's Sermons : he fays, 

" I lyken preaching to a ploughman's labour, and a prelate to a 
*' ploughman. Firft, for their labour in all feafons of the yeare. 
" For there is no time of the yeare in which the ploughman hath not 
" fome fpeciali worke to do : as in my countrey in Lefterfhire, the 
" plowman hath a time to fet forth, and to afiay his plough, and 
" other times, for other necefiary workes to be done. And then 
" they alfo may be likened together for the diverfitie of workes, and 
" varictie of offices that they have to do. For as the ploughman firft 
" fetteth forth his plough, and then tilleth his land, and breaketh 
" it in furrowes, and fometime ridgeth it up agayne, and at other 
" times harroweth it, and clotteth it, and fometime dongeth and 
" hedgeth it, diggeth it, and weedeth it, purgeth, and maketh it 

" cleane : fo the prelate, the preacher hath a bufie worke to 

bring his flock to a right fayth, and then to confirmc them in the 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 2.J 

Some ancient, in drawing the picture of an happy 
people, fays, it is neceffary, peace and good laws 
fhould prevail ; that tie ground Jbould be well culti- 
vated \ children well educated; and due homage paid 
to the Gods. And, among the Romans, to neglect 
the cultivation of one's farm was deemed afrobrum 
cenforiwn, a fault that merited the cbaftifement of the 
cenfor. No occupation, fays Plutarch in his Life of 
Numa, implants fo fpeedy and fo effectual a love of 
peace as a country life. Accordingly, poets, who 
generally dwell with rapture on unfophiflicated man- 
ners, fpeak of rural employments as comprehending 
all human virtue, and all human felicity. In every 
ftation and every fphere of life, men (if they be fo 
difpofed) may find caufe to adore the wifdom and the 
goodnefs of God : but in none is it more confpicu- 
ous, or more linking, than in that occupation which 
requires us to be daily witnefTes of the bleffings of 
Providence fo wonderfully manifefted in bringing ford 
grafs for the cattle, and green herb for the fer vice of 
man ; wine to make glad the heart of man, oil to make 
him a chearful countenance, and bread to ftrengthen 
mans heart. Blefled with health, the happy recom- 
pence of virtuous toil, with minds at eafe, and un- 

f r fame fayth. Now cafting them downe with the law, and with 
threatninges of God for fmne. Now ridging them up agayne 
" with the gofpell and the promifes of God's favour. Now weeding 
* them, by telling them their faultes, and making them forfake fmne. 
Now clotting them by breaking their ftony harts, &c." 

Latymer's Fourth Sermon Of the plough. 


a8 ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 

agitated by all the mad contentions of a tumultuous 
world, farmers are generally contented to be quiet 
themfelves, and to let others be quiet. And hence, 
jthe moft virtuous and ufeful citizens ! are found neither 
in the higheft norloweft departments of fociety ; not 
among merchants and foldiers ; nor, perhaps, among 
artifans, whofe modes of living render them too prone 
to run into juntos, clubs, and cabals ; but in the mid- 
dle conditions of life, among an induftrious, peace- 
able, and contented peafantry. 

It is not without much undiflembled regret that I 
fee a {ingle cloud for a moment darkening our bright 
horizon. I fhould be happy to congratulate you on 
the peace being as complete, as, no doubt, our rulers 
expected it would be, when they proclaimed this day 
of thankfgiving. But, the news from our frontiers is 
ilill moft alarming. Our favage neighbours, (who 
as favages alone are to be forgiven for delighting in 
war,) unfatiated with blood, have again taken up the 
hatchet, and are again fpreading defolation in our 
borders. There is, I truft, little likelihood, that they 
will penetrate into the interior parts of the country, 
On the contrary, I hope my confidence is not ill- 
founded, that our young men, now gone out againft 
them, (acquainted as they are with the Indian country 
and with Indian manners,) will, with little lofs of 
blood, though certainly not without much toil and 
danger, foon over-awe them into peace. 

Let me not be deemed enthufiaftic, or romantic, 
V/hen 1 avow that 1 expect much permanent good to 


ON TH PEACE IN 1763. 9 

arife from this tranfient evil. Our rulers (both here 
and in Great Britain) will now have leifure to attend 
to every part of our American polity ; and, among 
other things, to the ftate of Indians : and, poflefled 
of all the information which is now eafily to be had, 
there can be no doubt, .they will adopt fome plan 
effectually to civilize thefe nations of barbarians J 

If we may judge from any thing that has yet been 
attempted concerning them, they have been looked 
upon as untamed, and untameable monfters ; whom, 
like the devoted nations around Judea, it was a kind 
of religion with white men * to exterminate. We 
have treated them with a rigour and feverity equally 
unfuitable to the genius of our government, and the 
mild fpirit of our religion. I hope, indeed, Britons 
have never yet fo difgraced their national character 
as to have (hewn towards them fo much internecine 
fury as the Spaniards at firft fhewed towards the 
Aborigines of the Southern Continent. Yet, could the 
foor Indian be but his own hiftorian ; and, from his 
own experience, and his own feelings, relate all that 
has happened fince our arrival in America, it would 
appear (if I am not much miftaken) that he has not 
derived fo much benefit, as we are apt to flatter our- 
felves, from being fubjecled to Britons, rather than to 

* I know not whether it may be thought of fufficient importance 
to remark that the North American Indians call Englishmen, but 
Englifhmen only, WHITE MEN: Frenchmen they call Frenchmen; 
and Spaniards, Spaniards. It (hews, however, that, in things which 
engage their attention, they are nice and accurate obfervera. 

I own 


I own to you, I have not feldom blufhed at their 
accounts of the treatment they have experienced from 
white men * : but, I truft, the period is not far dif- 
tantj when, for our own fakes, as well as for theirs, 


* I hope to be pardoned for recording here an mftance or two 
(from many which occur to me) of favage heroifm and civilized 
barbarity. They were related to me on good authority ; and, I be- 
lieve, have never yet appeared inprint. " A gentleman in Maryland, 
well known for being the terror of Indians, having rambled into 
the woods with his fon (then very young) efpied an old Indian 
coming to his ftore (i. e. warehoufe) to trade, as was ufual in times 
of peace. The father, concealing himfelf and his boy behind a fallen 
tree, lay there, till the Indian, as far from fufpe&ing any danger as 
he was from intending any mifchief, got within reach of his gun. 
The boy was then directed to fire. He did fo ; and killed his man : 
for no reafon whatever but that he might be able to fay he had killed 
his man." The perfon from whom I had this ftory, afiured me it 
was related to him by one of the family as a meritorious faft. 

(t A party of white people, from one of the frontier fettlements of 
Virginia, once went out againft a body of Indians, who were in arms 
to oppofe a fmall colony of fettlers, who had taken pofieflion of 
fome lands, which the Indians alledged they had never fold. Indians 
remonftrate with their tomahawks ; and therefore now declared war 
by driving off thofe whom they adjudged to be encroachers. The 
whites were not of a temper to be intimidated : they refolved, and 
were foon prepared, to attack the Indians, in their turns ; who, being 
fallen upon when they were off their guard, and finding themfelves 
likely to be overpowered, fairly took to their heels. Among them 
was a young fquaw, with an infant in her arms. She was fuppofed 
to belong to a perfon of fome note, from her drefs being compofed 
almoft entirely of filk handkerchiefs. Checked in her fpeed by the 
burthen of her helplefs charge, (he hoped to efcape by hiding herfelf 
and her child among the weeds of a marfh. The thought mewed 
(he poffefled great prefence of mind j but, alas ! it was of no avail. 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 3! 

we (hall endeavour to diffufe political fecurity and 
happinefs to the Indian nations with whom we have 
any intercourfe ; and to convert them into free men, 
ufeful fubjecls, and good Chriftians *. 


The chieftain of the whites (whofe name I forbear to mention) 
efpied her ; and took his aim. This (he faw ; and being fenfible alfo 
that (he muft fall, (for, when rifle-men have a fair Ihot, they are 
rarely known to mifs their object,) her laft and only care was, if 
pofiible, to preferve her babe. With this hope, (he inftantly turned 
it from her back to her breaft ; that (he alone might receive the 
ball. And even when (he fell, by a kind inftinct of nature (of the 
true force of which in fuch a cafe mothers only are, perhaps, the 
proper judges) me was anxious and careful fo to fall as that her 
child might not be hurt. I am mocked to relate, that both the 
mother and her babe were killed and fcalped." 

The admirers of Grecian or Roman ftory are challenged to pro- 
duce, from their clafiic ftores, any inftance in which the force of 
nature is more forcibly difplayed, than it is in this Americo-tra- 
montane anecdote. It has been remarked of two illuftrious Ro- 
mans, Lucretia and Caefar, that they regarded the ro legm* even in 
the moment of death. Of the former Ovid fays : 

" Tune quoque jam moriens, ne non procumbat honefte, 

" Refpicit: hxcetiam curacadentiserat." Ovid.Fafti,lib.ii.I.833. 

The fame thing is mentioned of Julius Caefar. 

Thefe are ftrong inftances of the force of habit ; whilft the ruling 
pafiion of the poor untutored Indian, in the fame trying crifis, was 
the genuine dictate of nature. And, when it is confidered, how many 
incidents of a fimilar nature muft have occurred fince our connexion 
with thefe Aboriginal nations, it is furprifing that fince the time of 
Capt. Smith (whofe inftru&ive and entertaining book is well worth 
reading, if it were only for the fake of the affecting ftory of Poco- 
hontas) all fuch circumftances have failed to attract the attention of 
the writers of American hiftory. 

* Then, in the ftreng language of a great moral writer, " when 
" the woods of America (hall have become pervious and fafe, thofe 

" who 

3* OX THE PEACE IN 1763. 

When charters were granted to the firft emigrants, 
two motives only were affigned ; " the enlargement 
" of the Empire, and the farther propagation of Chri- 
" ftianity*." The latter of thefe motives is not lefs 
juft and proper now than it was then. Territory we 
do not want ; having, it is probable, already more than 
we well know how to manage. Inftead therefore of 
countenancing that vagrant and unfettled way of life 
which has become habitual to fo many of our people ; 
and that very general pafllon they have to be for ever 
running back in queft of frefh lands ; a practice not 
more unpropitious to all agricultural improvements, 
than likely to keep us involved in Indian wars ; 
let us enlarge our empire by the civilization of the 
Indians ; who already have a better title to any of 
our un-located^- lands, than we can poffibly give any 
new comers ; and who, with little pains, might foon 
be made at leaf! as good fubjeds as thofe whom we 
are likely to put in their place. 

It is granted, that every attempt hitherto made to 
bring this fierce and intractable people within the 
pale of focial order has failed : but, happily, this does 

" who are now reftrained by fear, {hall be attra&ed by reverence ; 
" and multitudes who now range the woods for prey, and live at 
* the mercy of winds and feafons, mail, by the paternal care of 
*' our Sovereign, the father of all his people, enjoy the plenty of 
" cultivated lands, the pleafures of fociety, the fecurity of law, and 
" the light of revelation." Dr. Johnfon in his Preface to Adams's 
Treatife on the Globes, 1767. 

* Maryland charter. 

f An American term, denoting unoccupied lands. 


OX THE PEACE IN 1763. 33 

not prove that therefore they are irreclaimable. The 
attempts hitherto made may have been made injudi- 
cioufly ; or they may not have been profecuted and 
perfevered in with fufficient earnefinefs. We found 
not thefe wretched tenants of the woods a whit more 
favage than our progenitors appeared to Julius Caefar 
or Agricola. It is, moreover, well known, that in 
South America various wandering tribes of Indians, 
infinitely inferior both in bodily prowefs and in the 
endowments of the mind to North American Indians, 
have been collected and incorporated into a well- 
governed community*. Nay, the fingle influence 


* " The cuftoms and cruelties of many American tribes ftill 
" difgrace human nature : but in Paraguay and Canada the natives 
" have been brought to relifh the bleffings of fociety, and the arts 
" of virtuous and civil life." Mickle's Introduction to his Tranfla^- 
tion of the Lufiad, p. 6. Dumouriez, in his account of Portugal, 
(fee Englifti tranflation, p. 183), beftows high praife on this go- 
vernment of Paraguay, which was founded by the Jefuits. " At the 
" end of fifty years, to the difgrace of the other colonies, the coun- 
* try of the miflionaries was filled with villages, the Catholic faith 
" was triumphant, and the favages civilized, happy, and fubjeft to 
" the vvifeit of governments. i- The power of thefe reverend 

' fathers, by a fyftem of politics very different from the greater part 
" of human governments, was founded upon a perfect upjon of 
' public utility with individual happinefs," 

This wonderful republic at length excited the jealoufy of the 
courts of Spain and Portugal ; who, with hardly any pretence of 
juftice, entered the country with arms in their hands, and, by the 
fuperior difcipline of European foldiers, fubjected to their yoke all 
who could not efcape it by flight : " the reft eftabliflied themfejves 
f* further up the country, taking the fathers with theni to confole 

D " them 

34 02* THE PEACE IN 1763* 

of one fingle man among ourfelves has well nigh 
effected, in one tribe, all that is wifhed for with 
refpecl to Indians in general ; for, in comparifon 
with other Indians, the Mohawks are even now 
a civilized people. But Sir William Johnfon is 
another Peter the Great : and, by doing what he 
has done in this refpect, he has furnifhed the world 
with a practical proof of an important obfervation 
made by a diftinguifhed writer *. " The ilrongeft 
" political inftitutions may be formed on the favage 
cc ftate of man. In this period the legiilator hath 
" few or no prior inftitutions to contend with ; and 
" therefore can form a fyflem of legiflation confift- 

" them in their diftrefs, and protefting againft the tyranny and in- 
" juftice of the barbarians of Europe." 

In a very fenfible note (p. 187.) the tranflator remarks, that in 
Trance all their writers, except Dumouriez and fome others who 
were of Montefquieu's opinion, inveighed bitterly againft the re- 
public of Paraguay. The humane philosophers, who are now 
preaching the freedom as well as the political liberty of the African 
flaves, with Voltaire at their head, could not bear that civilization, 
equality, and a government purely evangelical, mould be introduced 
among the free Americans of Paraguay. This inconfiftency of con- 
dud (he fays) it is not difficult to account for. The Jefuits, by 
their writings againft thefe philofophers, defended the Chriftian 
religion ; and the ftate founded by them was a Chriftian common^ 
wealth. The black ilaves, on the contrary, have no religion but 
their Feti/hifm, which is the wormip of any living or inanimate being 
pd libitum ; and which, therefore, no doubt, agrees better with 
modern philofophy and indefinite liberty than any religious fyfterq 

t Dr. Brown on Civil Liberty, &c. p. 55. 

v ent 

ON THE PEACE IN 1763, '3.5 

f e ent with itfelf in all its parts : while the law- 
" giver who reforms a flate already modelled or cor- 
" rupted muft content himfelf with fuch partial rc- 
(f gulations as the force of prior eftablifhments and 
" public habits will admit." 

What elfe is the early hiflory of nations now the 
mofl polifhed, but the hiftory of Indians ? The brief 
character of uncultivated man is to mglett agriculture, 
to fraftife hunting, and to delight in war *. From 
Nimrod down to Atakullakulla -j- hunters have been 
favage and bloody-minded. It would feem, then, 
that we have only to wean Indians from the chafe, to 
tame them. Every other effort to mollify and hu- 
manize their ftubborn fpirits, without this preliminary 
requifite, will continue to be made to little purpofe. 
They may make talks J ; they may give firings of 
wampum ; nay, they may even be baptized, and be 
called Chriftians : but as long as they live by hunting 
they will flill be Indians. The putting an end. to 
hunting is the firft ftep in the progrefs of civilization. 
And if this fingle expedient fhould be found fufficient 
to remedy the many heavy evils arifing from their 

* Such (we may recoiled) were the Britons in ancient times : 
Agricuhune non ftudent ; vita omnis in venationibus atquc in 
" ftudiis rei militaris confiflit." Casf. de Bell. Gall. lib. vi. 

t A noted chieftain of the Cherokee nation, commonly called 
The Little Carpenter. 

J A talk is an Indian term for a conference : and the giving a 
fring of wampum, (which is a fort of girdle decorated with beads 
or (hells,) is a pledge of their peaceable difpofitiou. 

D a being 

36 OX THE PEACE IN 1763. 

being fuffered to go on from age to age ftill in a 
favage ftate, it has the additional recommendation 
of being a fimple one; a circumftance which, of it- 
felf, is no mean proof of its being a good fcheme. If 
gunpowder and the implements of war were either not 
fold to them, or fold only at an exorbitant price, and 
little or nothing given them for their furs and their pel- 
try ; and if large and liberal bounties were granted 
for every thing they fhould raife or produce, either as 
farmers, fhepherds, or manufacturers, it furely is fair 
to hope, that, as the firit effects of fuch regulations 
would be the keeping of them at home, and gradually 
enuring them to the peaceful habits of pafloral and 
rural life, they would infenlibly, like all the reft of 
the human race, when once they had learned a dif- 
tinclion of property, learn alfo, for the fake of their 
own, to abftain from that of others *, As for the 

* The firft thing, therefore, that we are to draw thefc 

" new men into, ought to be husbandry : firft. becaufe it is the 
** moft eafie to be learned, needing only the labour of the body : 
< next, becaufe it is moft general, and moft needful : then, becaufe 
" it is moft natural : and laftly, becaufe it is moft enemy to war, 

" and moft hateth unquietnefs, as the poet faith, bella 

f* execrata colonis : for, huifbandry being the nurfe of thrift, and 
" the daughter of induftry, detefteth all that may worke her fcathe, 
" and deftroy the travaile of her handes, whofe hope is all her lives 
*? comfort unto the plough : therefore are thofe kearne, ftocaghes, 
*' and horfe-boys to be driven and made to imploy that ablenefs pf 
46 body, which they are wont to ufe to theft and villainy, henceforth 
i* to labour and induftry." -gpenfer's yjew of the State cf 
Ireland, p. 253. 

OK 'THE PEACE IN 1763* 37 

Idls of trade in ikins, which fuch a fyftem might 
occafion, it is beneath a nation's notice. According 
to the common courfe of things, it muft be loft in a 
very few years ; as it is the trade, not of cultivated 
countries and civilized men, but of wildernefles and 

This propofed reftri&ion from the blood of beafts 
is not only rational, but has, in fome degree, the 
authority of revelation. Among other reafons that 
might be affigned for the prohibition to eat blood, 
this was not the leaft, that mankind might thus be 
checked and reftrained from any propenfity to harfh- 
nefs, inhumanity, and blood-thirftinefs. The Jewifh 
ritual abounds with fuch moral and benevolent in- 

Too much praife cannot be beftowed on thofe 
philanthropic and pious perfons who have laboured 
to convert thefe poor pagans to the pure faith of the 
gofpel. God forbid any thing here fuggefted Ihould 
difcourage fuch laudable charity ! It is to be feared, 
however, that they have often, if not always, begun 
at the wrong end. With his hands perpetually im- 
brued in the blood of beafts and with appetites trained 
to thirft for human blood, taught from his earlieft 
infancy to liften with rapture to fongs of vindictive 
ferocity, can it be imagined that a favage will be 
perfuaded to liften to the precepts of that religion 
which is to teach him good-will towards men ? Se- 
conded, however, and fupported by the civil power, 
in fome fuch manner as has juft been intimated, the 

D 3 fervices 

^8 ON THE I'EACS' IN 1763,- 

fervices of the faithful miffionaiy will not be lefi 
ufeful to government in effecting their civilization, 
and turning tie fiercenefs of man to tie praife of God, 
than the co-operation of government will be to the 
miffionary : and I venture to pronounce, that it will 
be equally impolitic and impious ever to think of 
difibciating fuch fervices ; for, " the inviting and 
" winning the nations of that country to the knovv- 
" ledge of the only true God and the Chriflian faith, 
" is the principal end of this plantation *." 

But Indians are by no means the fole or chief ob- 
jects of our prefent attention : the united motives of 
intereft and humanity call on us to beftow fome con- 
fideration on the cafe of thofe fad outcafts of fociety, 
our negro-flaves: for my heart would fmite me, were 
I not, in this hour of profperity, to entreat you (it 
being their unparalleled hard lot not to have the power 
of entreating for thcmfelves) to permit them to parti- 
cipate in the general joy. 

Even thofe who are the fufferers can hardly be 
forry when they fee wrong meafures carrying their 
punifhment along with them. Were an impartial 
and competent obferver of the ilate of fociety in thefe 
middle colonies afked, whence it happens that Vir- 
ginia and Maryland (which were the firft planted, 
and which are fuperior to many colonies, and inferior 
to none, in point of natural advantage) are ftill fa 
exceedingly behind moft of the other Britim tranf- 

* Firft New England charter, 


Otf THE PEACE IN 1763* 3 

Atlantic pofleffions in all thofe improvements which 
bring credit and confequence to a country ? he 
would an Twer X)\e are fp, 

vatccl by flaves. I believe it is capable of demon ftra- 
tion that, except the immediate intereft which 
every man has in the property of his flaves, it would 
be for every man's intereft that there were no flaves : 
and for this plain reafon, becaufe the free labour of 
a free man, who is regularly hired and paid for the 
work which he does, and only for what he does, is, in 
the end, cheaper than the extorted eye-fervice of a 
flave. Some lofs and inconvenience would, no 
doubt, arife from the general abolition of flavery in 
thefe colonies : but were it done gradually, with 
judgement, and with good temper, I have never yet 
feen it fatisfaclorily proved that fuch inconvenience 
would either be great or lafting. North American 
or Weft Indian planters might, poffibly, for a few 
years, make lefs tobacco, or lefs rice, or lefs fugar ; 
the raifing of which might alfo coft them more; but, 
that difadvantage would probably foon be amply com- 
penfated to them by an advanced price, or (what is 
the fame thing) by the reduced expence of cultivation. 
With all my abhorrence of flavery, I feel in myfelf 
no difpofition to queftion either it's lawfulnefs, or it's 
humanity. It's lawfulnefs has again and again been 
clearly proved : and if it is fometimes cruel it is fb 
only from being abufed. But, if I am not much 
miftaken, more harm than good has been done "by 

D 4 fome 

4# Otf THE PEACE IN 176*3* 

fome late publications on the fubjecft of flavery * ; 
a fubjecl: -which, of all others, feems to be the leafl 
proper for a mere rhetorician. Thus much, how- 
ever, I may be permitted to obferve, that, in no other 
country was flavery fo well regulated as it is in the 
Britifh colonies. In fome rcfpecls I hope it is on a 
better footing than it ever was, or is, any where elfe : 
but it is furely worfe in this, that here, in one fenfe, 
it never can end. An African Have, even when made 
free, fuppofinghim to be pofTciTed even of talents and of 
virtue, can never, in thefe colonies, be quite on terms 
of equality with a free white man. Nature has placed 
infuperable barriers in his way. This is a circum- 
ftance of great moment ; though, I think, it has not 
often been adverted to by popular writers "}~. 

If ever thefe colonies, now filled with flaves, be 
improved to their utrnofl capacity, an erTential part 
of the improvement muft be the abolition of flavery. 
Such a change would hardly be more to the ad van - 

* In the Virginia News-papers. By Mr. Arthur Lee. 

) A convi&/when purified by long fervice, and become induf- 
trious and honeft, naturally coalefces with the people around him, 
and his former delinquencies and infamy are forgotten ; his children 
can never be upbraided with their having had a felon for their father: 
whereas the defcendants of a white perfon, married to a black one, 
would, for many generations, by their complexion, proclaim their 
origin. Accordingly, though many mulattoes and people of co- 
lour have obtained wealth, I remember no inftance, in any Eu- 
ropean colony, of their having obtained rank. 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 41 

tage of the flaves, than it would be to their owners. 
An ingenious French writer* well obferves, that 
" the ftate of flavery is, in it's own nature, bad : it is 
" neither ufeful to the matter, nor to the flave. Not 
" to the Have, becaufe he can do nothing through a 
" motive of virtue-}*; not to the mailer, becaufe, by 
" having an unlimited authority over his Haves J, he 
" infenfibly accuftorns himfelf to the want of all 
" moral virtues, and from thence grows fierce, hafty, 
" fevere, voluptuous, and cruel." 

I do you no more than juftice in bearing witnefs, 
that in no part of the world were flaves ever better 

t * Montefquieu. Spirit of Laws, book xv. chap. I. 

f Surely the pofition that (laves have no motive to be virtuous, 
is here laid down fomewhat too ilrongly : there are virtues growing 
out of (lavery, and peculiar to it, as there are in every other condi- 
tion of life ; fuch as attachment, fidelity, meeknefs, and humility, 
which are the chief Chriftian virtues ; and flavery is to be objected 
to, not fo much from it's tendency to debafe and injure flaves, 
(though I am fenfible it does this in a confiderable degree,) as 
from it's being injurious to fociety at large. See fome juft obfer- 
vations on this point by Sir Frederic Morton Eden, Bart, in 
" The State of the Poor," vol. I. p. n. 

f That unlimited authority over flaws is unfavourable to moral 
virtue in the matter, I readily admit ; but in no European colony 
has any fuch authority ever been exercifed. It is, however, re- 
markable, that the great champion of liberty, and advocate of 
humanity, Mr. Locke, by the loth article, or item, of the Con- 
ftitution which he drew up for the government of Carolina, givei 
" every freeman of Carolina abfolute power and property over hig 
" flaves, of what opinion or religion foever. 


4$ ON THE PEACE IN 1763, 

treated than, in general, they are in thefe colonies. 
That there are exceptions, needs not to be concealed : 
in all countries there are bad men. And fhame be 
to thofe men who, though themfelves bleffed with 
freedom, have minds lefs liberal than the poor crea- 
tures over whom they fo meanly tyrannize ! Even 
your humanity, however, falls fhort of their exi- 
gencies. In one eflential point, I fear, we are all de- 
ficient : they are nowhere fufficiently inflrucled. I am 
far from recommending it to you, at once to fet them 
all free ; becaufe to do fo would be an heavy lofs to 
you, and probably no gain to them I but I do entreat 
you to make them fome amends for the drudgery of 
their bodies by cultivating their min4gj By fitch 
means only can we hope to fulfil the ends, which, we 
may be permitted to believe, Providence had in view 
in fuffering them to be brought among us. You 
may unfetter them from the chains of ignorance ; you 
anay emancipate them from the bondage of Jin, the 
wort! flavery to which they can be fubjecled : and by 
thus fett'mg at liberty thofe that are bruifed, though 
they ftill continue to be your ilaves, they (hall be 
delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious 
liberty of the children of God. 

I come now, in the lafl place, to exhort you not to 
difappoint the pious wirties which our pious king had 
in thus publicly fummoning us to hail the Lord of 
lords and King of kings with fongs of deliverance, for 
having given his people the blejjing of peace. That a 
long and bloody war, unparalleled in all former hif- 



lories either for the variety of its operations, Or the 
univerfality of its extent, is at length happily termi* 
nated, cannot but fill every benevolent heart with joy ; 
even though men with fuch hearts were no otherwife 
interefted than as they take part in the general in- 
terefts of humanity. But, befides that near intereft 
which we cannot fail to feel in whatever materially 
concerns our mother country, on whom the chief 

burden of this general war has fallen ; we muft not 

i-~ ~~ 

forget, |t hat for us and for our fakes it was firft entered 
into jjand that our welfare has been principally con- 
fulted in the terms on which it has been concluded. 
And, notwithstanding all that a difcontented party 
has faid, or has written, on the idea .that the con- 
ditions of the peace are inadequate to our great 
fuccefs, fo far as they concern us we can have no- 
thing to object to them. Our particular interefts, 
indeed, have been fo much attended to, that the 
happy fituation in which we are now placed has 
actually excited no little diflatisfaclion among thofe 
who have long looked upon us with fufpicion and 
jealoufy :* and our friends are told that the day may 
not be diftant when even they mall forely rue that fo 
much has been done for the continental colonifla 
Away with all fuch finiftrous furmifes ! I join with 
you in refenting them, as equally ungenerous and 
unjufl. Your regard to your own interefts, your 
fenfe of duty, your feelings of gratitude, will all 
confpire to give the lie to thefe ill-omen'd prognofti- 

3 Inftead 

44 dr THE PEACE IN 1763. 

Inftead of dwelling, as we are too apt to do, with 
aperverfe kind of gratification, on thefe now prevalent 
topics of difcuflion (which, like ephemeral infedls, 
buzz around us awhile with a buiy kind of impor- 
tance, and then are heard of no more), call to mind, 
I pray you, what your fearchings ofheart were, when, 
not long fince, on the defeat of General Braddock, 
you faw (at lead in your panic-ftruck imaginations 
you faw) your enemies at your very doors, ready to 
fa allow you up ; when not only a folitary individual 
or two, but the whole land, with fafting and with 
prayer exclaimed : Ob, thoii fivord of the Lord! bow 
long will it be ere thou be quiet ? Put up thyfelf into 
the fcabbard-, reft and I e ft ill ! Let the flrength of 
your fears,, and the ardour of your wifhes at that time 
for a peace on almoft any terms, be fome meafure for 
your joy and thankfulnefs now ; when you have ob- 
tained fuch a peace as, I believe, exceeded your moil 
fanguine expectations on the commencement of the 
war. And whatever praifes we beftow either on thofe 
who directed the war, or who negociated the peace ; 
flill the glory of all belongs unto God. He it was who 
infpired our ftatefmen with wifdom ; and who covered 
the heads of our warriors in the day of battle. He it 
was who turned the counfels of our enemies into fooli/b- 
nefs ; and who, in his mercy, has lifted us up on high 
above them that rofe up againft us. God hath indeed 
done marvellous things for us ; whereof ive rejoice. 

But ftill, great as is the prefent occaiion of our joy, 
it muft depend on ourfelves, whether peace, however 


ON THE PEACE IN 1763. 45 

deferable at this moment, (hall continue to be a bleffing 
to us ; or (hall finally add to our condemnation. 
War is the juft judgement which God inflicts on a 
linful people. Had we not deferved it, fo grievous a 
vilitation would not have been our lot. But as peace 
has now once more been reftored to us, let us humbly 
hope that we are become not altogether unworthy of 
fo great a bleiling. Let us, now that we are made 
whole, endeavour to Jin no more, left a worfe thing 
come unto us. Let us again turn our attention to 
cultivate the arts of peace, the only arts which, as 
ChrifHans, we ought to be very felicitous to know ; 
and fo let us regulate our words and actions, fo let 
us conduct ourfelves towards God and our neigh- 
bours, that we may lead quiet and feaceable lives in 
all godlinefs and honejly. 

" Grant, we befeech thee, O Lord, that the courfe 
" of this world may be fo peaceably ordered by thy 
f c governance, that thy Church may joyfully fervc 
" thee, in all godly quietnefs, through Jefus Chrift 
our Lord!" 





JUDGES, ch. xvii. ver. 5, 6. 

jlnd the man Micah lad an houfe of gods, and made 
an ephod and teraphim, and confecrated one of bis 
fonsy who became Vis priejl. In thofe days there 
was no king m Jfrael, but every man did what was 
right in Us own eyes. 

JL O give you a proper view of this text, it will be 
neceflary to enter fomewhat at large into it's hiftory. 

The facred writer, having now completed the ftory 
of Sampfon, which he feeras to have been unwilling 
to interrupt with any digreffions, fets himfelf, in this 
and the remaining chapters of this book, to record 

* Preached in 1769, firft, in two Foreft Parifhes of Caroline and 
Spotfylvania : afterwards, with neceflary alterations, at different 
times in different places both of Virginia and Maryland ; and once 
(not in any church, butfub dio) in the Back Woods, near the Blue 
Ridge ; a country which feemed to bear no faint rcfemblance to 
Ephraim j and which, like it, was over-run with fe&aries. 



fome other memorable events in the Jewifli hiftory, 

which happened in the times of the Judges, The 

* chapter before us relates in what manner idolatry 

>gained a footing in the tribe of Ephraim, through the 

mifconduct of Micah, who is fuppofed to have been 

an Ephraimite. 

Of Micah we know nothing more than what is 
related in this and the following chapter. From 
thefe we learn, that, having either been really ftrait- 
ened for want of room in the more cultivated parts 
of the country, or imagining that he was, he had 

removed and fettled in the mountainous parts of 
Ephraim. There he dwelt with his mother, who was 
probably a widow ; and certainly a very fuperftitious 

It J uot very ealy to underftand what is precifely 
meant in tSe account, of the eleven hundred Jbekels, 
here faid to have been taken from this woman, and 
about which ihe curfed\ and which, it afterwards 
appears, her fon Micah took. Commentators are ex- 
ceedingly divided in their conjectures concerning this 
difficult text. The moil general and moft probable 
opinion is, that, being inclined to innovations in re- 
ligion, Hie had fet apart, and devoted to fome reli- 
gious purpofe, the fum here mentioned ; and that (lie 
had bound herfelf by an oath (here called curfing> an 
oath being a conditional curfe, or execration) to do 
this. It is in this manner fhe herfelf explains the 
word, when fhc fays that ihe had wholly dedicated 
fas filler unto the Lord. Her fon, who was deeply 



tin&urcd with the fame perverted principles on the 
fubjecl of religion, availed himfelf alfo of thecircum- 
fiances of the times, which left him at liberty to do 
\vhatever was right in his own eyes. Accordingly, 
being apprifed of his mother's intentions by her hav- 
ing fpoken of it in his ears, he refolved, (for fome 
reafon or other which does not appear,) to anticipate 
her purpofe, and to employ her money in the fame 
manner as fhe herfelf had propofed. With this view 
he furreptitioufly took the eleven hundred Jhekeh ; 
and having done fb, immediately avowed it to his 
mother. She inftantly faw and admitted the force 
of his plea ; and, with great confiftency, no longer 
blamed him. It would, indeed, have ill become her, 
who herfelf had fhewn fo little deference to the old 
eftablifhed inftitutions of her country, to have quar- 
relled with her fon for having followed her example ; 
and for having regulated his conduct (not by any 
eftablifhed precedents or rules, but) by his own hafty 
and crude ideas of propriety. Thus reconciled, they 
very amicably united in an unhallowed plan to em- 
ploy a founder, to make them a graven image, and a 
molten image. 

We cannot be furprifed to find, that Micah, hav- 
ing gone thus far, foon fell into greater irregularities ; 
and that he lad an boufe of gods, and made him an 
ephod and teraphim ; and confecrated one of his fons, 
who became his prieft. The phrafe, which is tranf- 
lated hoiife of gods, is, in the original, undoubtedly 
plural : yet it is often rendered in the fingular; and 

I appre- 


I apprehend, may here fignify an houfe of God ; that 
is, a Beth-el, or place of worfhip of his own ; diftincl: 
and feparate from that of Shiloh, to which it was his, 
and every man's, duty to have reforted. This inter- 
pretation (which it becomes me to apprize you, 
though approved of by many, is yet not that which is 
mofi commonly received) is not a little confirmed by 
other texts and paflages of Scripture, not ufually ad- 
duced to fupport it. In the twelfth chapter of Deu- 
teronomy, God, after exprefsly directing the people 
to deftroy all the places wherein the nations around 
them ferved their gods upon the high mountains, and 
upon the hills, and under every green tree, (places very 
exactly correfponding with that where Micah had 
built his houfe of God,) no lefs peremptorily ordered 
them not to do whatfoever was right in their own eyes. 
From the manner in which this lafl part of the in- 
junction is connected with that which preceded it, 
there feems to be good realbn to infer, that the 
phrafe, doing whatfoever was right in their own eyes, 
meant that particular offence, (which is fo often men- 
tioned in the hiftory of the Jews, and to which they 
are Jcnown to have been fo remarkably liable,) the 
falling off, either wholly or in part, to the idolatries 
of the Gentiles. 

Micah's apoftacy from the eftablifhed worfhip does 
not appear to have proceeded from enmity to religion. 
Like defections in general from rectitude to error, 
and from virtue to vice, it was gradual. The 

E epbod 


efbod* he made was a proper facerdotal garment ; 
appropriated folely to the tabernacle, and to the ufe 
of the high priefl. But (to ufe the words of a well- 
known commentator *f-) " whatfoever refemblance 
" this ephod had, in its fhape and form, to the ephod 
" of the high priefl, it had none of that rich work in 
" it, which the high prieft's ephod had ; neither a 
" girdle, nor a bread-plate belonging to it : being 
" no more fuch a garment as that golden ephod, 
" than his Levite was a pried, or his teraphim an 
" urim and thummim." 

The interpretation alfo of the word teraphim is 
no lefs dubious and difficult ; as it is ufed, in Scrip- 
ture, in a good as well as in a bad fenfe. Prieds, and, 
in certain cafes, even_ reprefentative images, were 
ceremonial appendages prefcribed by the Jewifh ritual 
in the worfhip of the true God ; and common alfo in 
the worfhip of falfe gods. But Micah was clearly a 
fchifmatic : in transferring to the worfhip of falfe 
gods thofe teraphim which had been appropriated to 
the worfhip of the true God, he worfh'ipped him in a 
way contrary to his own appointment -, or, in other 
words, worfhipped him falfely. The whole dory 
proves, that his aim was to blend together the worfhip 
of the true God and that of idols. And, therefore, 
as the ephod and the Levite (who is afterwards fpoken 

*...." per ephod, velut prascipuatn facerdotalem veftem, 

omnes caeterae fignificantur." Cornelius a lapide. 

t Bp. Patrick, 



of) were necefTary and proper in the worfliip of the 
one, to the graven and the molten images and the tera~ 
fhim were, if not proper, yet not uncommon, in the 
worfliip of the other. This deviation alfb, like the 
others, was fo contrived that (though grofsly erro- 
neous,) it yet Itill bore the femblance of truth. For, 
though teraphim * were undoubtedly too often ufed 
as heathen idols, and certainly fo intended in the 
inftance before us, yet it is probable that Micah 
hoped by them to have all the benefit of the urim and 
thummim, and even of the cherubbinical voice itfelf; 
which belonged to, and always accompanied, the 
eftablifhed priefthood. 

Another innovation, which Micah introduced, was 
the confecrating one of his fons, who became his prieft* 
In the Hebrew it is, He filled the hand of one of his 
fons ; that is, he put facrifices into his hands, to be 
offered unto God : which was the rite always ufed in 
the initiation of priefls -}*. In doing this, he alfb 
departed from the form of worfhip prefcribed by di- 
vine authority. For this fon (even if he was the 
eldeft) was not of Aaron's lineage nor tribe ; in whom 
alone the functions of the priefthood were vefted. 
Afterwards, indeed, (for the greater folemnity, and in 

* " Erant ergo theraphim idola domeftica, quae domi colebant, 
" & quafi oracula confulebant de rebus arcanis vel futuris, quos 
" Romani deos penates & lares appellabant.'' Cornelius a lapide. 

" They were reprefentative images of the objed of religious awe 
" and veneration." Parkhurft's Hebrew Lexicon. 

f See Exodus xxix. 24. and Levit. viii. 27. 

E a conformity, 


conformity, as it were, to the eftablifhment,) he did 
admit and employ a Levite, who, however, performed 
the duties of his holy calling very irregularly. 

The hiftory fully accounts for thefe irregularities : 
in thofe days there 'was no king in If r a el. There is 
ibme diverfity of opinion as to the chronology of this 
event : but it is generally fuppofed to have happened 
between the death of thofe elders who furvived Jo- 
fhua,- and the firfl oppreffion of Ifrael by Cufhan ; 
when the children of 'Ifrael forfook tie Lord ', and did 
evil in his fght, that is, when they fell into idolatry. 
This was before the time of the judges ; who had 
indeed, occafionally, the name of king, but never the 
power: and therefore were not, in all cafes, equal 
to the correction of abufes, or the fuppreffion of 

The Jewifh government was a theocracy ; and 
the fupreme authority was vefted in the high prieft. 
Judges over all the tribes, however, were occaiionally 
raifed up by God ; and principally to. lead them to 
war. To each tribe there was a civil magiftrale called 
a ruler, who, as well as the judges, was fubordinate to 
the high prieft, the immediate reprefentative of God. 
When the people would not obey this mild fyftem of 
government, nor hearken to the voice of the Lord 
their king, but corrupted tbemf elves, and degenerated 
into the idolatries of the nations around them, the 
Lord delivered them into the hands of their ene- 
mies ; and they that hated them were lords over 
them ; until, by crying unto the Lord in their trouble, 



they obtained judges, who went before them, and 
refcued them from their enemies. 

Some fuch general relaxation of principle (their 
pronenefs to difobedience being notorious) feems to 
have prevailed among them at the period of the hif- 
tory now under coniideration. It was one of thofe 
periods, in which (according to the phrafeology of 
Scripture) there was no king in Ifrael ; that is, no good 
government. No wonder that the people, thus ufurp- 
ing the power into their own hands, loon became li- 
centious, felf-willed, and defpifers of dominion ; and 
that, like the new fettlers of Laifh, they lived carekfs, 
and after the manner of the Zidonians. There was no 
magiftrate in the land, to put them tofoame in any thing. 

As forne excufe for Micah, it may perhaps be air 
ledged, that the Ephraimites, among whom he dwelt, 
were an envious, afpiring, and turbulent people. 
This appears from their fharp expostulation with 
Gideon in the eighth chapter of the book of Judges ; 
and from the character given of them by Ifaiah * 
That fuch a people fhould hanker after innovations, 
is perfectly confident : and therefore it is not unna- 
tural to fuppofe, that they might lead Micah to thefc 
changes, rather than wait to be led by him. It might 
alfo be urged in his behalf, that Gideon himfelf, (a 
man of eminent character, and one of their judges), 
had fet him the example, by actually making an ephod, 
^nd put ting it in his city, even in Ofhrah. It is one 

* Chap, xl ver. 13. 

E3 <* 


of the greateft aggravations of wrong conduct in 
diftinguifhed men that it's evil confequences are not 
confined to themfelves : many are feduced by their 
example. Gideon, by the general tenor of his life, 
fhevved that tie Spirit of tie Lord was indeed with Mm : 
yet, like other faints and fervants of God, being flill 
a man, he had many human infirmities. It is not 
to be denied, that, in the inftance before us, he finned 
greatly. Inflead of difcouraging the people, already 
too prone to idolatry, he himfelf was the foremofl to 
offend. Seduced, it would feem, by the allurements 
of popular applaufe, he gratified the unreafonable 
humours of the people in affording them an oppor- 
tunity of performing divine worfhip in their own city, 
rather than going to Shiloh, where alone they were 
commanded to worfhip. 

But neither the waywardnefs of the people, the 
Infirmity of Gideon, nor any other peculiarity of 
temptation, can wholly excufe either Micah, or his 
mother, for thus fetting up a new mode of worfhip 
different from what~God had eftablifhed. - In making 
graven and molten images he palpably adopted a falfe 
religion : but as to the ephod, the altar, the Levite, 
and whatever elfe bore any refemblance to the reli- 
gion of the tabernacle, he was blameable only for 
intermeddling with religious matters in a way con- 
trary to the declared will of God ; and for introdu-* 
cing a feparate houfe, a feparate prieft, and, in fhort, 
a feparate religion, from that of his country. 

The ferious and very interefting inference to be 



drawn from this ftory is, that though men may pro- 
fefs the fame doclrines, and even ufethe fame worfhip 
with the true church of God, flill they may not, in 
the language of theology, be members of that church. 
From no paflage does it appear that Micah was either 
indifferent or carelefs about religion : in the part he 
took he might be fincere ; nay, it is even poffible, he 
might flatter himfelf he was a reformer, and more 
righteoics than others. He continued to reverence 
the laws, to offer the fame facrifices, and to ufe the 
fame facramcnts that he had always done : but he 
introduced innovations for which he had no autho- 
rity; he led the way to a fchifm and a feparation, which 
were injurious both to true religion, and to the peace 
and comfort of his countrymen ; and therefore were 
pofitively forbidden. In thofe refpedls, it is clear, he 
was guilty of an heinous fin ; even of as heinous a 
fin as the fin of Jeroboam, of whom fo much cenfure 
is frequently exprefled in the Scriptures. For, though 
Jeroboam perhaps was guilty of herefy as well as of 
fchifm, yet the charge moft generally brought againfl 
him is, that he fet up altars, creeled temples, and 
fixed fymbols of God's prefence in a place different 
from that in which God had chofen to fix his name. 
He burned incenfc, and offered facrifices upon fuch 
altars as God had not appointed ; and he confecrated 
perfons to minifter at thofe altars, who were not of 
God's inftitution. 

Somewhat fimilar to this was the cafe of the Sa- 
ftiaritans. In all the great eflentials of religion they 

E 4 a S reed 


agreed with the Jews. But our Saviour in vain de- 
clared, in Jerufalem is the place where men ought to 
worjbip : that was the place fixed on for the centre of 
unity in worfhip, and thither were the tribes to go 
up, to teftify that they were all of one communion, 
and to give thanks with one mouth, and one heart, unto 
the name of the Lord. From this temple of the Lord 
the Samaritans had feparated themfelves, and fet up 
diftinct altars and places of worfhip of their own. 
This defection conftituted their crime : and this is 
the true definition and criterion of a finful fchifrn, 
that it is a needlefs feparation from a church, which 
has all the requifites and characterises of a true 
church. Such a church was that of the Jews, with 
which our Saviour did actually hold communion, 
though the Samaritans would not. And, no doubt, 
it was on this principle, and for this reafon, that he 
would not admit that the Samaritans were within the 
pale of the church; for he told the woman of Samaria, 
in exprefs terms, that falvation was of the Jews. And 
when, in his way through Galilee and Samaria, he 
once cured a Samaritan leper, he called him ajtranger ; 
by which term, as is well known, our blefled Lord 
meant only to intimate, that this Samaritan had no 
ihare in the peculiar covenant and promife made to 

This fpirit of divifion and feparation, which has 
always been fo unfavourable to true religion and the 
peace of the world, long prevailed in, and diffracted, 
Jucjea; as it has diffracted every other country in 




which it has exifted. As foon as the two principal 
feels (the Pharifees and the Sadducees) arofe among 
them, all peace and harmony were deftroyed by their 
difputes. Both parties, eager to advance themfelves 
by clepreffing others, courted the favour of their 
rulers, in order to make ufe of their authority to crufh 
their adverfaries ; and fometimes the one was upper- 
mofr, and fometimes the other. We are informed 
by the Jewifh hiftorians, that Hircan, gained over 
by the Sadducees, perfecuted the Pharifees without 
mercy. He made it a capital crime to follow their 
inftitutions : fome of them he imprifoned ; others 
he put to death ; and the greateil part he forced to 
take refuge in deferts. His fon, Ariftobulus, acted 
the fame part; and fo did Alexander his brother. 
His widow, however, influenced by his advice, ef- 
poufed the oppofite caufe. And now the Pharifees, 
having uncontrolled authority, perfecuted the Sad- 
ducees no lefs than they had been perfecuted ; and 
returned evil for evil in ample meafure. In fhort, 
thefe feclaries never ceafed to perfecute each other, 
till they ceafed to exift : and their animoiities were 
perpetuated even until the total ruin of the nation, 
which they accelerated. No length of time, no in- 
tenfenefs of fuffering, allayed their hatred : even war 
did not unite them. They chofe rather to be de- 
flroyed by their divifions than to fave their country 
by unanimoufly oppofing its enemies. 

The Jews, however, are known and acknowledged 
to have been a religious, a thinking, and a fludious 

people : 


people : and, however extraordinary the afTertion 
may feem, I conceive it to be capable of proof, that it 
is among fuch a people chiefly that fectarianifin is 
moft likely firft to take root, and then to get the 
failed hold. It is therefore not a little difficult to 
account for the prefent propensity of the people of 
this colony to run into feels. iFor, I conceive it to 
be neither a fatire nor a flander, but merely the de- 
claring a plain and obvious matter of fact, to fay of the 
prefent age in general, that if it be (as we are fond to 
boaft it is) enlightened, it certainly is not a learned 
age ; and that the people of thefe countries, in par- 
ticular, do not deferve to be charadlerifed as a reli-^ 
gious, a thinking, a reading, or a ftudious people. ) 
Unwilling or unable either to think or to read deeply 
our age has the merit of having found a moft palata- 
ble fubftitute in, what is called, light reading ; and 
there are no fubjects to which the principle is not 
now applied ; none which are not treated in a way 
intended to be amufing and agreeable rather than 
inftructive *. In fuch times, and among fuch a 


fr It was chara&eriftical of the people of that part of America 
where this fermon was written, and when it was delivered, that, 
differing from people in the fame fpheres of life in other countries, 
every man who could read, read chiefly fuch publications as were fil- 
led with fneers at orthodoxy, cavils againlt the national church, and 
(above all) with incefTant lavifh encomiums on an uncontrolled free- 
dom of enquiry. Far be it from any wife or good man, in any 
refpea, to difparage principles of fuch indifputable truth and ex- 
cellence as the right of private judgment and the freedom of en- 


people, it is no wonder that mere fciolifts fhould be 
preferred to found fcholars ; and that the hafly pro- 
duclions of fuperficial fmatterers fhould be read and 
admired, whilft the deep refearches and the clofe 
reafoning of better writers ar.e unpopular and ne- 
glected. One who knew them well thus accurately 
defcribes them : " There is a fort of men, who can- 
<e not diftinguifh between liberty and licentioufnefs; 
" who endeavour to make themfelves famous by eter- 
" nal difputing, and calling every thing in queilion ; 
" who will never acknowledge themfelves convinced, 
" though the fuperior and prevailing evidence is 
(( againft them. They do indeed pretend to examine 
" all things ; but then they hold f aft nothing ; no not 
" even that which is good. Their whole ftudy is to 
" unhinge men's minds, and root out their religious 
" principles, without giving them fomething as good 
" in their Head. Thefe perfons pretend to freedom 
" of thought, and unbiafled enquiry ; but they are 

quiry : it is to be lamented only, that fuch exclufive preference of 
fuch principles renders them particularly liable to lead to great 
and dangerous abufes ; and I am uncharitable enough to fufpe& 
that the principles in queftion have, of late, been thus violently 
brought into vogue, only becaufe they are liable to be fo abufed. 
What advantage the world has received from the diligent diflemi- 
nation of fuch writings, my ftation in it has perhaps been too low 
and obfcure to have enabled me to difcover : but I have long fcen 
(or think that I have fcen) how much they have contributed not 
only to leflen men's reverence for government, but by the fame 
means, (moft decidedly, though indircdly,) to encourage feds and 

" generally 


" generally half-thinkers and bigots ; or perfons who 
" determine without evidence, or a cool, fincere, and 
" thorough examination *." 

It is thus that fo general a diflatisfa&ion with the 
exifling government both in church and ftate hath 
at length been excited among you. The policy by 
which this has been effected is equally deep and 
dangerous. It is now well known that James the 
Second publifhed his celebrated declaration for liberty 
of confcience more to promote the interefts of Popery 
than from any real regard to tender confciences. Juft 
fo, the fafhionable writers of our day are the unwea- 
ried advocates of toleration, not from any real prin- 
ciple of univerfal charity, but, as is much to be feared, 
with a latent view of ferving the caufes of deifm and 
revolution -}v For who are greater bigots, or more 
intolerant towards all who differ from them, than 
infidels ; orjwho fo tyrannical as republicans poiTefled 
of power Fj Yet thefe are the men who, by their per- 
feverance, have at length unfettled the minds of our 

* Dr. George Benfon ; in his Sermons, p. 132, 
t It is remarkable, that Edwards (himfelf a Prefby terian ) in hi* 
inftruftive and valuable book, " The Gangraena," attributes thofe 
monftrous fwarms of fe&aries with which, during the civil wars in 
the laft century, the kingdom was over-run, not folely (as other 
writers do) to the unexampled rage and fpite which were then 
excited againft the church of England but to the prevalence of 
loofe and licentious writings in favour of a general toleration. Nor 
is it lefs worthy of remark that the firft ftep which Julian took 
to reftore Paganifm was his famous decree of Univerfai Toleration. 

people ; 


people ; and led them, ftep by Hep, to lukewarmneis 
in religion ; to fcepticifm ; to reparation and fchifm ; 
and even to downright infidelity. 

Having thus pointed out to you, with not more free- 
dom than the cafe requires, and certainly with all the 
fidelity of which 1 am capable, Ibme of thofe peculiar 
caufes which (in addition to the general ones which 
afFecl us in common with all the reft of the Chriftian 
world) ieem to me to have led to the great growth 
of feels and feclarifts, which now unhappily diftin- 
guifhes this part of the country, I proceed to confider 
what, in confcquence of it, appears to me to be our 
duty, as we are, and as we are not, feparatifts. 

It was for the exprefs purpofe of having this matter 
calmly, but fully, coniidered, that you now hear one 
more ftranger preaching in your neighbourhood. I 
feefome who (I know) have great fearchlngs of heart 
becaufe of thefe divifions ; who are duly fenfibleof the 
importance of the true faith, and of the danger offalfe 
religion ; and who, therefore, will cordially join me 
in praying, that it may pleafe God, of his mercy, to 
grant, that by any thing they can do, or by any thing 
J can fay, thofe of our brethren who have now, as we 
think, erred and ftrayed, may return into the way of 
rlghteoufnefs ; efchew thofe things that are contrary to 
their profeffion, and follow all fuel things as are agree^ 
able to the fame ! 

As for the unftable and the wavering (and even 
avowed) feparatifts, permit me to entreat them to be 
fo juft to themfelves, and fo indulgent to me, as to 



Men to my difcourfe with patience, and, if poffibfe, 
without prejudice. I come to convince them (if I 
can> that it is equally their interefl and their duty to 
abide ftedf aft and unmovealle in tie faith once delivered 
to the faints : I come to perfuade and exhort, but by 
no means to compel them to continue in our com- 
munion. And fo far am I from being of a temper 
to exafperate thofe among you who are modeft, inge* 
nuous, and teachable, by any {harp or har(h reprehen- 
iions, that though I neither can, nor will, ufe flattering 
words, yet, God is my witnefs, how, leing affectionately 
defirous of you, I wifli to exhort, to comfort, and to 
charge every one of you, even as a father doth his chil- 
dren *. As ajhepherd feeketh out his flock in the day 
that he is among his Jheep that are fcattered, fo will I 
feek out my Jheep : Iwillfeek that which was loft, and 
bring again that which was driven away ; and will hind 
tip that which was broken, and will Jlrengthen that 
which wasfick -f . 

To err is, alas! the general lot of our fallen nature: 
nor are we, I fear, ever more likely to be wrong than 
when we are unufually confident that we are right. 
But, becaufe error is thus infeparable from our na- 
ture, it is not, therefore, of fo flight moment as that 
we are not anfwerable for it : always our misfortune, 
it is oftentimes our fault. Nor, becaufe confidence 
is fo unbecoming, is it therefore our duty to be fcepti- 
calj wavering, and unfteady in our opinions. Ficklenefs 

* i Theff, ii, i. f Ezek. xxxiv. 12. 



and unfieadinefs of faith arc almoft as blameable as in- 
fidelity : and the relinquifhment of old opinions, or the 
adoption of new ones, without fufficient examination 
and evidence, are equally proofs of weak minds, and 
equally criminal. Errors in opinion are but a little 
(if they are at all) more venial than errors in prac- 
tice : for fpeculative and practical errors are fo nearly 
connected that it is very uncommon to meet with 
the one without the other. In fubjects of import- 
ance, then, and efpecially in matters of religion, it is 
particularly incumbent on every man often and care- 
fully to examine and prove himfelf whether he be in the 
faith : for, if he be in error, it will be no excufe to 
him that he erred ignorantly ; inafmuch as ignorance, 
when the means of information are abundant and am- 
ple, is almoft always wilful and obftinate. To adopt 
new opinions without a thorough conviction of their 
being well founded, "or to retain opinions when thus 
hailily adopted, through indifference to what is right, 
is a crime imputable not to any weaknefs of under- 
flanding, but to the perverfenefs of the will. Let 
it not, therefore, be thought either bold or harfh 
in me to aflert, that fuch a wilful error in faith 
is not lefs fatal and damnable than a wilful wicked- 
nefs of life. 

We all profefs to love truth ; and, of courfe, to 
vvifh that it may generally prevail : and there is no 
reafon to queftion our fincerity in this profeflion. 
Hence the general folicitude to make profelytes : but, 
as truth is fimple and uniform, it is impoffible, when 
2 differ- 


differences prevail, that we can all be in the right. 
And though it would be the height of arrogance in 
any man, or in any body of men, to boaft prefumptu- 
oufly, that they only have found the truth, and all 
others are in error ; yet, by one line of conduct, and 
by one only, we may all of us be fo far in the right, 
even when we mifs of the truth, as to be guilty of no 
damnable error. This line of conduct is, what Scrip- 
ture calls, all holding tie fame faM : an expreffion 
which by no means imports, that we are all bound, 
on pain of damnation, to think" exactly alike even in 
points of faith. However much it is our duty, how- 
ever defirable it may be that we fhould fo agree, yet, 
confidering the nature of the human mind, fuch an 
event is rather to be wifhed than expected. The 
God of all mercy does not require of his creatures 
more than he has enabled them to perform : and 
therefore, when a conformity in religion is required of 
us, it mud be underftood to be required only as far 
as it is pojfible* . God is true, though all men fhould 
be liars ; and his Scriptures are ftill invariably true, 
even when men mod mifinterpret them. Thefe 
lively oracles, totally diffimilar to the myftic refponfes 
of Delphi, do not give ambiguous or equivocal an- 

* " It is a matter of faith to believe, that the fenfe of them (viz. 
of obfcure places of Scripture, which contain matters of faith) 
" whatever it is, which was intended by God, is true ; for, he that 
'* doth not fo, calls God's truth in queftion. But, to believe this or 
*< that to be the true fenfe of them, or to believe the true fenfe of 
" them and to avoid the falfe, is not neceflary either to faith or fal- 
4t vation." Chillingworth, part i. cap, ii, p. 90. 



fwers. Whatever be the cafe with its profeffors, our 
religion is not at variance with itfelf : its doctrines, 
like their blefTed author, are the fame yefterday, to-day, 
and for ever. And when men, who appear to be 
equally intelligent and equally confcientious, are in- 
duced (as, alas, they often are !) to draw a different 
conclufion from the fame premifes, if it does not im- 
pugn the truth of God, it fhould not divide Chriftians 
from Chriftians. If, like the Apoftles and primitive 
Chriftians, we refolve to hold all tie fame faith, we 
muft alfo refolve, with them, to continue united m 
do flrine and in fellow/hip ; all fp calling the fame truth, 
and all taking due care that there be no dhi/ions 
among us. 

We have all but one Lord, one faith, and one hope 
of our calling: we are all the fpiritual children of the 
fame heavenly Father; redeemed by the lame precious 
blood of Chrifl ; fanclified by the fame gracious 
Spirit ; members of the fame body, and joint-heirs of 
the fame inheritance in the world to come : and 
therefore we are all under the fame bounden duty to 
walk by the fame rule, and to mind the fame things, and 
to he knit together in one comnmnion and fellovcjhip. 

Whilft, however, we permit ourfelves thus humbly 
to hope that unavoidable differences of opinion on 
fubjects that relate to religion may be overlooked or 
forgiven, let us not rafhly run into a contrary extreme, 
and imagine, that if we be but finccre it is of little 
moment what we believe. Many favourable circum- 
fiances muft concur to render any error innocont ; 

F and 


and much does it concern us all to reflect, whether 
that error, which alienates, divides and feparates bro- 
ther from brother, can have any claim to be confidered 
as innocent. It is neither illogical nor uncharitable 
to fay, that the mere circumftance of feparating is no 
inconfiderable proof that the feparatift is in an error; 
becaufe it proves him to have loft, or never to have 
fully poffefled, that Chriftian difpofition and temper 
which would have made him anxious to be like- 
minded ; having the fame love ; of one accord, and of 
one mind with his fellow Chriftians. 

Allowing, then, in the fulleft latitude, that cafes 
may eafily be fuppofed, in which it is not only jufti- 
fiable, but even meritorious, to feparate, flill it is not 
to be denied, that the almoft endlefs diverfity of opi- 
nion that has prevailed on the fubjecl of religion, 
and the numerous feels* into which the Chriftian 
world has been divided, is one of the greateft calami- 
ties with which mankind have ever been vifitecl. 
Thefe diviiions are the fhame, the reproach, and the 
lin of all who occafion them : and of all the objections 
which Papifls have urged againft the Reformation 
there is none to which it is fo difficult to give a fatif- 
factory anfwer as it is to the divifions among Pro- 
teftants ; which, they allcdge, it is of the effence of 
proteftantifm to produce f-. But, with almoft equal 

* No lefs than fixty-four different fets are faid to prevail at this 
day in all the different parts of the Britifh dominions. 

f See Le Deifme refute par lui mefme : par M. Bergier, premiere 
par tie, p, 215. 



reafon, it might be alledged againfl Chriftianity itfelf, 
that it had been the fruitful parent of divifions. Of 
thcfe the enemies of Chritlianity take advantage : and 
it has been chiefly by attacking them that they have 
been enabled too fucccfsfully to recommend an in- 
difference to all religion, which they reprefent as fo 
extremely uncertain that mankind never can agree 
about it*. When, through our own weaknefs, we 
have thus given an opportunity to artful and unworthy 
men to fow the feeds of confujion and every evil ivork^ 
are we to wonder that God fhould at length be pro- 
voked to fufFer thofe who cannot agree with one 
another to be deftroyed of one another ? 

On no topic are the felf-commiffioned cenfors of 
our age more eloquent, than in their oft-repeated in- 
veclives againfl tefts and fubfcriptions ; thofe ufeful 
barriers, by which the guardians of our Church en- 
deavour to fccure the orthodoxy of her faith. That 
moft of their objections are either frivolous or falfe 
many able men have repeatedly proved ; but that 
they are all nugatory, or ill-founded, no candid perfon 
will alledge. We fee, and acknowledge, that fomc 
(perhaps many) unhappy confequences refult from 

* " Les fceptiques, frappcs du choc de ces divers fyftcmes, con- 
" clurcnt qu'il n'y a rien de certain ; qu'en fait de religion dc 
" morale, un philofophe doit s'en tenir au doute abfolu. De la eft 
" nee 1'indifFcrence pour toutes les opinions, a laquelle on donne Ic 
" nom de tolerance. Dans 1'exces du delife, 1'efprit humain ne 

" peut aller plus loin." Traite Hiltorique & Dogmatique dc 

fc vraie Religion, &;c. par M. L'Abbe Bergier, tome i. p. 32. 

l) F a the 


the caution which our rulers conceive it to be their 
duty to ufe on this occafion : but that far more and 
greater inconveniences would refult from the inter- 
iniffion of fuch cautions, has been demonftrated again 
and again. In their clamours againft us on this 
ground, the objeclors feem to be as unwife as they 
are unjuft : the temper and fpirit with which their 
objections are urged, too clearly (hew the danger of 
Jiftening to them : and, whilft fuch men continue to 
be thus reftlefsly and bitterly bufy, God forbid our 
left laws fhould be repealed ! Were it not for thefe 
vvholfome reftri&ions, neither thofe of our Order in 
particular, nor the members of our Church in general, 
would any longer be bound together by any common 
ties. We fhould be let loofe againft one another, 
with all our diforderly paflions in full force ; and the 
very foundations of fociety be inevitably deftroyed. 

For thefe reafons, therefore, as well as many others, 
(though, on account of the wide difperlion of the 
Chriftian world, it muft neceflarily be branched out 
into manydiftincl: focieties, or churches; yet, it being 
fiill, though many y one body in Chrift, and members one 
of another,) every feparate communion may, and 
fhould, confider itfelf as a fmall part of a great whole ; 
as {till a member of the * Catholic Church, and the 


* " Thofe two articles in the Apoflles* Creed, the Holy Catho- 
" lick Churchy and the Communion of Saints, were inferted on purpofe 
ft to prevent fchifm ; and that alone is their true fenfe and aim. 
" No fchifmatic, therefore, can, with a fafe conference, repeat thefe 



Communion of Saints ; and,, as fuch, bound, by fome 
common, external, viiible means, fome generally ac- 
knowledged teft of focial unity, itill to maintain a 
vifible communion. It was thus that the Apoftles 
and firft Chriftians (who, as well as ourfelves, had 
the unhappinefs to think differently on various points, 
fome of them of great importance) ftill were together 
with one accord in breaking of bread, and in prayer. 
They wifely thought that a mere difference of opinion 
in things not abfolutely effential to falvation, inftead 
of being a reafon for feparation, \vas an argument 
and motive (and, as fuch, is often fo urged in 
Scripture) for greater zeal and care to keep up the 
unity of the fpirit in the bond of peace. Chriftians in 
deed, as well as in name, they were fo rooted and 
grounded in love, as never to fuffer any debates about 
doubtful quejlions to interfere with plain and indifpen- 
fable duties; nor any ill-informed or ill-regulated 
folicitude, even for truth, to deftroy that mutual for- 
bearance, peace, and charity, which conftitute the 
very efTence of Ghritlianity. Nor will our holy re- 
ligion ever have that credit or that influence in the 
world (to both of which it is fo well entitled) till it's 
profefibrs are more attached to each other ; and till, 
laying aficle all jealoufic?, animofities, e t vilfurmijings > 
and perv erf e difputings, they have the wifdom, as well 

" two articles ; inafmuch as, by his fchifm, he far too clearly and 
" emphatically declares his difbelief of any peculiar holinefs in the 
" Catholick Church, and his uifregard of the duty and the bleffing of a 
" Communion of Saints "~~ King on the Creed, p. 310 aod p. 325. 


as the virtue (like the multitude of them that believed) 
to be of one heart and one Joul, and to dwell together 
as brethren in unify. Then, notwithstanding the in- 
finite diverfity of feels, into which Chriftcndom is 
unhappily divided, Chriftian unity might dill, in a 
Chriftian fenfe, fubfift : nor, indeed, can it ever be 
loft, as long as Chriftian charity is maintained. Were 
this great evangelical duty but duly praclifed, if it 
did not remove all differences, it would certainly allay 
all animolities : and if we ftill differed in judgment, 
we fhould unite in affection ; we fhould love men's 
perfons, even when we reprobated their opinions. 

Let not thefe fincere fuggeftions in favour of mu- 
tual forbearance and charity be perverfely mifinter- 
preted, as meant to countenance the loofe and dange- 
rous, yet not unpopular, notion, that if a man is 
confcientious in his attachment it is of little moment 
to what communion he belongs. This is a very 
dangerous argument, and, if carried to its utmoft 
length, would juftify any extreme of irreligion. With 
equal reafon might it be urged, that, provided a man 
be fincere in his conviction, it is of little moment 
whether he be a Chriftian, a Mahometan, a Pagan, or 
an Idolater. The fubtle queftion of the innocency 
of error is not now under confederation : but permit 
me to obferve, that if fmcerity in any fyftem of faith 
be fufficient to entitle a man to falvation all reafon- 
ing and argument on the fubjecl muft be vain ; nay, 
(I will add,, though not without horror,) Chrift him- 
Iclf both lived and died in vain. 

'- It 


It is not only a neceflary confequence of Chrifti- 
anity to render thofe who embrace it diflatisfied with 
their old opinions, and old principles, and anxious to 
adopt new ones : they do, indeed, to ufe the figni- 
ficant phrafeology of Scripture, put off the old man, 
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lufls ; and 
put on the new man, which, after God, is created in 
righteoufnefs and true holinefs : but every fincere con- 
vert to Chriilianity mull be anxious to perfuade others 
likewife to embrace the true faith. When the Son 
of God came upon earth to promulgate his gofpel 
(not to one people only, but) to all nations, the Jews 
(who we know were in general fincere in their at- 
tachment to their national church) were as uncon- 
cerned about recommending their religion to others, 
as they were zealous to preferve it from being con- 
taminated by others. The Romans were fo far from 
being defirous of fubjecling the people whom they 
conquered to their religion that they frequently 
adopted their gods and their ceremonies. Nor did 
the Greeks ever think of fending miffionaries to the 
Perfians, Egyptians, or any other people. Whilfl the 
Gentile nations thus acquiefced each in his own 
fyftem, the Saviour of the world came upon earth ; 
and, addreffing himfelf, with his Apoftles, equally to 
Jew and Gentile, preached falvation to mankind 
through the gofpel. One immediate confequence of 
his Advent was, that multitudes of fuch asjhould le 
faved were every where converted and added to the 
Church. If, then, according to this notion, a fincere 
F 4 


Pagan was equally in a ftate of falvation with a finecrc 
Chriftian, it will not be eafy to acquit our Saviour of 
the charge of having needlefsly diilurbed the repofe 
of the world,, by interfering with the received opinions 
of mankind. 

But, though we humbly truft that the poor be- 
nighted heathen, on whom the bright fun of reve- 
lation has never fhone, may, and will, be pardoned for 
his unavoidable ignorance ; and no lefs confidently 
hope that all due allowances will be made for thofe 
who with their mother's milk imbibed the delulions 
of Popery, or for thofe who have been decoyed from 
the faith of their fathers by the allurements of the 
conventicle ; I know not whether I am authorifed to 
hold out the fame hopes to thofe who (to ufe the 
words of the article of uniformity) " following their 
" own fenfuality, and living without due knowledge 
" and fear of God, do wilfully and fchifmatically ab- 
*' ftain and refnfe to come to their parifti churches/' 
If they really do agree (as they fay they do) with our 
Church in all eflential points *, and yet, (like Micah,) 
on pretences perfectly infignificant, or at lead of 
but little importance, feparate from us, fetting up a 
new houfe of gods y and confecrating, or laying their own 

* The celebrated Peter Walfh (as we are informed by Bp. Burnet 
in the Hiftory of his own Times, vol. i. p. I rex) was of opinion, 
" that no man ought to forfake that religion, in which he was born 
" and bred, unlefs he was clearly convinced that he muft certainly 
" be damned if he continue^ in it," -Sir James Ware's Hitt. of 
Ireland, $d vol. p, 196. 



hands on their own heads ; what can Chanty herfelf 
fay of them, but that they are fchifmatics, and do all 
in their power to rend the feamlefs garment of their 
Saviour ? It is conduct like this that juflifics thofe 
who reproach the fchifmatic with deitroying the unity 
(juft as the heretic fubvcrts the faith) of the Holy 
Catholic Church. 

It ought to be remembered, that the caufes which 
thefe our brethren alledge for their feparating from 
us do not relate to points which we deem indifferent; 
though, as they concern them, they acknowledge 
them to be fuch. We have at ilake an eccleiiaitical 
conftitution, which we are penuaded is truly primitive 
and apoftolical : we have a liturgy, compiled with 
fuch found nefs of judgment, and fuch beauty of 
holinefS) that, whilft it is admirably adapted to the 
edification of the unlearned, it cannot but engage the 
efteem and veneration of the moil learned. Thefe 
things we cannot difpenfe with without annihilating 
our Church. 

This is not the cafe with thofe who feparate from 
us. They may, any and all of them, comply with all 
that our Church requires, without doing any violence 
to their conferences : for they not only acknowledge 
the doctrines of our Church to be found and pure, 
and her ceremonies to be at lead harmlefs ; but they 
have, even fince they have left us, fhewn fo much 
refpect to us, and regard for their own intereft, as to 

join with us in every part of our worfhip. The points 



to which they object are not, according to their own 
opinion and practice, unlawful ; fo that, if they were 
inclined to live peaceably with our Church as far as 
is poffible, they ought to do fo as far as is lawful. 
The pafTage from them to us is eafy and fafe ; but, 
for the reafons juft mentioned, not fo from us to 

The adversaries of our common faith too well 
know the advantages they derive from thefe diflen- 
fions : and hence they have taken , and too probably 
will continue to take, great pains to foment and per- 
petuate them. And in no way can either a church, 
or a kingdom, be fo effectually defiroyed, as by being 
divided. It is not an enemy that could do us this wrong. 
We fight his battles, by turning all our flrength 
againft ourfelves ; and may hereafter lament our 
own want of forefight, -fhould we ever live (which 
God forbid !) to fee Popery again raifed on the ruins 
of that Church which her own members have over- 
thrown. This, indeed, we hope, is a very improbable 
event; but, it is not impoffible. What has hap- 
pened may happen again. Whilfl we are unhappily 
bulled in undermining our own foundations, the 
common enemy ftands ready to enter in at the 
breaches we make ready for him. 

The Church of England, befides the ftrong and 
irrefragable authority of the Scriptures in it's favour, 
has this farther recommendation, almoft peculiar to 
itfelfj that all parties differing from it concur in ac- 


knovvledging that, next to their own, it is the beft*. 
It preferves an happy medium between the two ex- 
tremes of Popery and Prefbyterianifm ; and is, there- 
fore, inconteftibly the fitted centre of union. And 
it is owing to her tranfeendent merit in this point of 
view, as well as for other reafons, that the oppofers of 
Proteftantifm have always directed their attacks, not 
againft Prefbyterians and their particular doclrines, 
nor againft any of our various fedlarifts and their 
various creeds, but againft the Church of England. 
But (bleffed be God I) founded on a rock, fhe has 

* " Ita autem Ecclefiam Anglicanam colo & veneror, ut Prefoy- 
' terianos veftros non tarn odio, quam commiferatione, profequor. 
" Exiftimo enim majorem eorum partem, avitis praejudiciis imbu- 
*' tos, bona fide agere ; minorem reliquorum fimplicitate abuti." - 
Jablonfki's Letter to Dr. Nichols, from Berlin, June 10, 1708. 
which fee in the " Relation des Mefures qui furent prifcs dans les 
" annees 1711, 12, 13. pour introduire la Liturgic Anglicaine 
" dans le Royaume de PrufTe, & dans 1'Eledorat de Hanover." 

p. 47. 

" Si me conjeftura non fallit, totius reformationis pars integer- 
' rima eft in Anglia ; ubi cum ftudio veritatis viget ftudium an- 
" tiquitatis ; quam certi homines dum fpernunt, in laqueos fe indu- 

" cunt, unde, nifi mendacio, exuere fe nequeunt." Epitt. If. 

Cafauboni in Claud. Salmaf. 

Vide etiim quid de publico Dei apud nos cultu, 8 Aprilis, anno 
MDCXLV eidem dixerit, Grotius fcilicet : 

* Liturgia Anglicana ab eruditis omnibus habita femper eft 
" optima." 

See " Teftimonia de Hugonis Grotii adfeftu ad Ecclefiam Angli- 
" canam ;" ufually bound up at the end of his Treatife " de Veritate 
Religionis ChrillianK." 



hitherto withftood, and for the fake of our common 
Chriftianity, and the peace of the world, we truft (he 
will long continue to withftand all their efforts*', 
If ever fhe is undone, it will be by Proteftant, and 
not by Popifh, hands f ; but whether a motley body 
of various and varying feels and parties, much di- 
vided among themfelves, and hardly lefs at variance 
with each other than with Popery itfelf, will occafion 
her downfal, I cannot pretend to determine. Whether 
they, however, are more likely to preferve our com- 
mon country from fuch a calamity, than the iteady 
and confident members of a refpec~lable and refpecled 
Church, (which a learned foreigner once called " the 
" eye of the reformation J,' f ) one might almofl leave 
it to our feparatifts themfelves to fay. 

* " Concerning the v/eakening of the Englifli Church, there can 
** no better way poffibly be found out, than by caufing divifions and 
" diffenfions among themfelves. And as for their religion, it can- 
*' not eafily be rooted out and extinguifhed here, unlefs there were 
** fome certain fchools fet up in Flanders, by means of which there 

" mould be fcattered abroad the feeds of fchifm, &c." Difcourfe 

of Spanifh Monarchy, &c. by Campanella, a Jefuit, p. 1^7. c. 25. 

f* The divifions among Proteftants are not unlike thofe which 
prevailed among the ancient Britons ; and much does it concern 
us all to pray, that they may not at length produce the fame effects. 

" Per principes factionibus & ftudiis trahuntur. Nee aliud ad- 
** verfus validiffimas gentes nobis utilius, quam quod in commune 
** non confulunt. Rarus duabus tribufve civitatibus ad propulfandum 
'* commune periculum conventus ; ita dum finguli pugnant, uni- 
*' verli vincuntur." Tacit, de Vita Agricolse, cap. xii. 

J " fiorentiffima Anglia, ocellus ilk ecclefiarum peculiura 

w Chridi fingulare, &c." Diodati. 



Compofed as thefe fectaries of our weftern world 
in general are of a confufcd heterogeneous mafs of 
infidels and enthufiafts, oddly blended and united, 
(moft of them ignorant, and all of them {hamefully 
illiterate,) it is not eafy, in a ferious dilcourfe, to fpeak 
of them with becoming gravity. St. Paul (with that 
fpirit of refearch and penetration which diftinguifhes 
his writings) touches both on the caufe and effect of 
fuch Reparations, when he defcribes the promoters of 
them as perfons having itching ears and unftahle in all 
their ways, and who are therefore eafily tojfed about 
with every wind of docJrine. They feem to be actu- 
ated by a fort of fpiritual wantonnefs ; bccaufe, as is 
obferved by the fame Apoftle, guided by their lufts, and 
heaping to themf elves teachers, they cannot endure found 
docJrine. I am loth to add (what yet truth extorts 
from me) that the picture drawn of them in his epiftle 
to Timothy is as exact a reprefentation of at leaft a 
majority of thefe feparatifts as if they had been the 
very perfons defignecl. They are proud, knowing no- 
thing, but doting about quejiions and ftrifes of words, 
whereof cometh envy, railings, evilfurmifings, perverfe 
diffutings of men of corrupt minds and deftitute of truth. 
And this being the cafe, let me fairly appeal to the 
moft candid of my hearers, whether fuch perfons do 
not clearly and directly fall under the cenfures and 
the penalties of the 9th, loth, nth, and i2th canons 
of the Church of England : inafmuch as they " fcpa- 
" rate themfelves from the communion of faints, as it 
v is approved by the Apoftles* rules in the Church of 

" England; 


" England ; and combine themfelves together in a 
" new brotherhood^ accounting the Chriftians who 
" are conformable to the doctrine, government, rites 
" and ceremonies of the Church of England to be pro- 
" phane, and unmeet for them to join with in Chrif- 
" tian profeffion." 

Of the confequences to be expecled from this ge- 
neral diflemination of delufion and error, men judge 
differently according to their different tempers and 
different degrees of information. Enthufiafts con- 
ceive it to be the commencement of a millennium t 
whilft others, of a lefs fanguine temperament, though 
they cannot fo far give up their common fenfe as to 
imagine that thefe blind guides can poffibly lead their 
Hill blinder followers to any thing that is really good, 
yet plead for their being let alone and fuffered to 
purfue their own projecls in their own way, from a 
perfuafion that they are too infignificant to do any 
harm ; and that the taking any public notice of them 
is giving them too much confequence, and purfuing 
that plan which of all others is befl calculated to 
render them Hill more popular. To this common 
and trite argument it may be anfwered, that this is 
not a cafe in which there can be any neutrality : thofe 
who are not for the Church are again ft it ; and if Micah 
of old was guilty of a great crime, thefe men cannot 
be innocent. Nor is there more real weight in the 
fnggeftions of cautious difcretion, that it is beft not 
to notice erroneous opinions and mifchievous perfons, 
left cenfure fhould raife them into confequence, 



Neither moralifts, nor preachers, norlcgiflators, in de- 
nouncing vices, regard who the perfons are that arc 
guilty of them : were the cafe otherwife, and were it 
true that vice, by being prohibited, becomes popular, 
moralifts and preachers, and even legiflators, might be 
charged with being the authors, rather than the cor- 
rectors, of immorality and impiety. 

What evils this prevalence of fectarianifm, fb fud- 
den, fo extraordinary, and fo general, may portend to 
the State, I care not to think; recollecting with horror, 
that juft fuch were the Jigns of tbe times previous to 
the grand rebellion in the laft century. There is no 
denying that fuch diforders indicate a diftempered 
government ; juft as blotches and boils indicate a bad 
habit of body. For, it has been obferved, that feels 
in religion, and parties in politics, generally prevail 
together. By a fort of mutual action and re-action 
they produce one another ; both, in their turns, be- 
coming caufes and effects. Whenever (to ufe Scrip- 
ture phrafeology) there is no king in Ifrael, that is to 
fay, whenever, through any caufe, the reins of govern- 
ment are relaxed, or it's energies impeded, then are 
mankind tempted to act the part of Micah, that is, 
to run into parties, and to frame new fchemes of re- 
ligion for thernfelves. Indeed, fects in Religion and 
parties in the State originate, in general, from fimilar 
principles. A feet is, in fact, a revolt againft the au- 
thority of the Church, juft as a faction is againft the 
authority of the State; or, in other words, a feet is a 
faction in the Church, as a faction is a feet in the State; 



and the fpirit which refufes obedience to the one, 13 
equally ready to refill the other *. Nor (however 
little it may feem to be attended to) is it an ordinary 
degree either of guilt or of danger when fuch men dare 
to perfifl to do, in the face of the laws, what thole 
Jaws exprefsly forbid. It is thus that inftitutions and 
regulations, which are of great moment to the welfare 
of fociety, are, imperceptibly and gradually, weakened 
and deftroyed ; for, when the laws are allowed to 
be fet at nought in one inftance, they are feldom 
much regarded at all. 

In private life, the mifchiefs occalioned by fchifms 
and feels are more obvious ; and perhaps not much, 
if at all, lefs grievous. The difcouragement which 
has thus been given to that exertion and honefl in- 
duftry by which families fhould be maintained, and 
the mifapplication and wafte of the hard earnings of 
many perfons in the inferior clailes of life, which it is 
now well known this epidemic frenzy has occaiioned, 
are matters of too much moment not to command a 
very general attention. In travelling through the 
country, it is eafy to know the diitricls in which thefe 
new lights moil abound, by the neglected plantations ; 

* Extat prudens monitum Mecaenatis apud Dionem Caflium 
ad hsec verba. " Eos vero qui in divinis aliquid innovant, odio habe 
<c coerce ; non deorum folum caufa, fed quia nova numina hi 
" tales introducentes, multos impellunt ad mutationem rerum. Unde 
" conjurationes, feditiones, conciliabula, exiilunt ; res profefto mi- 
" mine conducibiles principatui. Et legibus quoque expreffum eft, 
'* quod in religionem committitur, id in omnium fertur injurU 
< am," -Crithi Sacri. 


by the aflemblages we meet with ; and by the looks' 
of meagre, dejected, and fqualid people crowding to 
hear field preachers. 

Even this great evil, however, is perhaps not fo in- 
tolerable as the harm that is done by the difputes, the 
ill-will, and the feuds, which are thus engendered 
among people who before lived together in harmbny. 
In f lead of all walking hy the fame rule, and all minding 
the fame things, one fays, lam of Paul, and lof^ipollos, 
and I of Cephas, and I of Chrift ; as if Chrift could he 
divided'*. For, though religious difputes ought, of 
all others, to be carried on with good temper and 
mildnefs, they feem, as conducted by thefe perfons, 
apt to excite bitternefs and rancour. A late truly 
excellent preacher of our Church, fpeakingof thecon- 
troverfialifts of his time, ufes this forcible language; 
which, however, is notlefs applicable to our difputing 
fectaries : " Inftead of foothing men's natures, foften- 
" ing their tempers, fweetening their humours, com- 
" pofing their affections, and raifing their minds 
" above the follies of the prefent world to the -hope 
" and purfuit of endlefs bleflednefs ; they are de- 

* " Hi pfalmum invertunt, & canunt in cordibus fuis, Ecce\ 
*' quam bonum & jucundum eft difturbare fratres, ut non habitent 
" in unum ! fed alius hue, alius illuc proruat. Neque tamen habent 
" pacem & concordiam pro balfamo, fed femper nova quserunt ; 
" nee putant fe aut do&ores, ant paftores, ecclefiarum efle poffe, 
<( mfi a nobis diffentiunt, & quiddam novum fibi excogitetit. Hos 
" fugere debemus, & cavere ne eorum fimiles fimus." Luth. 
Enarr. in Pfalm. cxxxiii. in Seckendorf. lib. 3. p. 305. 

G " feating 



" feating the true end for which the Son of God came 
" into the world, and doing the work of the powers 
" of darknefs ; leading men into the dry and angry 
" work of making parties, and fettling needlefs opi- 
" nions ; and at the lame time becoming flacker in 
" the great duties, which were chiefly defigned by 
" the Chriftian doctrine *." 

It would feem, that, in thefe men, religion ex- 
haufls itfelf in profeflion : the more of it that they 
have in their mouths., the lefs charity there is in their 
hearts. Againft the minifters of the eftablifhed 
Church their cenfures are particularly {harp and fe- 
vere : in their harangues, they are liberal only in be- 
llowing on our whole Order the coarfe epithets of 
venal and corrupt hirelings, carnal-minded and un- 
godly teachers. It is, in moft cafes of difpute, fome 
confolation to know, that the conflicts of contending 
parties are not embittered by perform! animoflty : but 
this confolation is far from affording us any relief. 
Indeed we love the Church too well not to feel 
when fhe fuffers. Thefe men wifh to, prejudice you 
againft the minifters of. the Church of England, only 
with a view to prejudice you againfl her doctrines ; 
juft. as they quarrel with human learning, from a 
confcioufnefs that it is the province of learning to 
.detect and expofe their folly and falfehood. Their 
Conduct, however, will excite in us no fenlation, but 

* The lapfe of near thirty years fince my fermon was written 
muft be my excufe for not recollecting the author from whom this 
pafTage is taken. 



that of pity for their errors, and their fufferings. Let 
our only folicitude refpecting them be, to have their 
errors removed, that fo their fufferings may be avoid- 
ed. All that we can farther do, or need wifh to do, 
is faithfully to exercife ourf elves in the Holy Scriptures 9 
and to call upon God by prayer for the true under- 
Jtanding tie fame ; fo as that we may be able to teach 
and exhort with wholfome doclrine, and to withfland 
and convince gainfayers. 

The magiiiracy, anxious to maintain and promote, 
as much as in them lies, quietnefs, love, and peace 
among all men ; and fenfible of their duty to correft 
and punijh fuch as be unquiet, dif obedient and criminous 9 
after having with much patience forborne to enforce 
the penalties provided by the law againft thefe re- 
fractory people, have at length fuffered the law to 
take its courfe. But, notwithstanding their impri- 
fonment, it is in their own power, whenever they 
choofe to ceafe to be contumacious, and to give fe- 
curity for a more orderly conduct hereafter, to ob- 
tain their releafe. If, however, they fhould again 
be fb wrong-headed as wilfully to incur the fame 
or greater penalties, let neither the magiftrates, nor 
the clergy, be blamed as the caufes of their diigrace; 
nor the companion of unthinking multitudes be ex- 
cited by ram and unfounded charges that fuch per- 
fons have been perfecuted for confcience-fake. 

It is not only the magiftracy and the clergy who 
lament this beginning of ftrife among us ; I am will- 
ing to believe that a majority of you who hear me 

G a this 


this day are no lefs grieved at thefe divifions. Effec- 
tually and at once to prevent their fpreading any 
farther, is not perhaps in the power of any of us ; 
but fomething, I trull, even now we may all do 
towards it : the magiftracy, by continuing to exer- 
cife their juft authority with a mild and temperate, 
but prudent, firmnefs ; the clergy, by being, if pof- 
lible, more diligent, more earned, more exemplary ; 
and all of us, by fhewing not only with our lips, but 
in our lives, 'how good and pleajant a thing it is for 
brethren to dwell together in unity ! Then may we 
hope, that, in God's own good time, (when, by his 
grace, he fhall be pleafed to give a bleffing to our 
well-meant and well -directed endeavours,) this breach 
will be healed. 

Men may be deterred from the commiffion of 
crimes by feverity of punifhment : but, of all the 
means which can be taken to reclaim them from er- 
ror, compulfion feems the leaft likely to be generally 
"fuccefsful. fHurnan nature has implanted in us a 
degree of obitinacy, which makes us tenacious of what 
is oppofed, for no better reafon than becaufe it is op- 
pofed. j Add to this, fuch are the dread and abhor- 
rence which men in general have, and ought to have, 
of every thing which wears but the femblance of in- 
tolerance and perfecution in matters of religion, that, 
great as the evils of fchifm unqueftionably are, if it can 
be got rid of only by rigorous pains and penalties, in 
God's name let it continue ! the remedy would be 
worfe than the difeafe. Happily, the humane laws of 



Our country do not leave perfecution in qur power : 
if they did, the laws of our religion, and. common 
Chriftian prudence, would reftrain us. This lenity 
and this forbearance to men's perfons (fo becoming 
us both as men and as Chriftians) are by no means 
incompatible with the moft determined oppofition to 
ilich of their doctrines or practices as we deem per- 
nicious. This, when undertaken on Chriflian prin- 
ciples, and conducted with a Chriftian temper, is npt 
only allowable, but a duty*. 

* " If there feeme tares to be in the Church, yet our fayth and 
4 * charitie ought not to be letted or hindered, that becaufe we fee 
" tares in the Church, we fhould therefore depart from the Church. 
" We ought rather to labour to be made the good wheate, that 
w when the wheate fhall be layde by in the Lorde's barne, we may 
" receive fruite for our worfce and labour. The Apoftle (2 Tim. if. 
" ver. 20.) faith, in a great hoiife there are not only veffels of gold and 
"Jifoer, but alfo of wood and of earth, and fame to di/konour. Let us 
" endeavour ourfelves, as much as we can, that we may be veffelt of 
" gold and Jifaer. But it pertains to the Lord only to break in pieces 
" the earthen veffels ; to whom alfo the iron rod is given. The 
" fervant cannot be greater than his matter ; neither let any man 
" think to challenge to himfelfe that thing which God the Father 
" geveth onely to his Sonne, that he may think himfelfe able to 
" purge the Jtoore, and to fanne the chaffe from the wheate, or to 
" fevere the tares from the wheate by man's judgemente. This is 
" a proud obftinacy, and a facrilegious prefumption, whiche a mad 
* fury ufurpeth to itfelfe. And whileft fome men always take the 
'* Lord to themfelves more than meeke juftice doth require, they do 
" perifli, and go out of the Church ; and whilett they do extolj 
" themfelves proudly, they, being blinded with their owne pride, 

" do leefe the light of veritie." St. Cyprian, as translated by the 

Bifhop of Exeter, in his Poor Man's Library. Printed by John 


The true Chriftian plan of oppofing thofe who will 
not endure found doftrine, is the beft : and that is, by 
"having no fellow/hip with them, but rather reproving 
them. The fame Apoftle, to whom we are indebted 
for the excellent advice juft mentioned, has alfo far- 
ther inilrucled us, on what topics our reproofs fhould 
turn, and alfo in what manner they fhould be urged. 
We are to preach the word ; to be inftant in feafon, 
and out of feafon ; to reprove ; to rebuke ; to exhort 
with all long-fujfering, and doflrine. And our exhort- 
ations are mod likely to be effedlual when our actions 
correfpond with our words, and when we Jhew our 
faith by our works. If we enforce bur precepts by 
our examples, and manifeft the fuperiority of our 
religion by our fuperiority in holy living, we may 
eafily confute any feparatifts, though inferior to them 
in the arts of argumentation. We can eafily demon- 
ftrate, how blameable and guilty they are who need- 
lefsly go away from our National Church ; and how 
meritorious it is in us to be fixed and fteady in our prin- 
ciples, and to abide in her communion. But can we 
as eafily fhew them that, with a better profeflion, we 
have a better practice, and are better men ? If we 
cannot, (and, alas, it is much to be feared that in 
too many cafes we cannot !) how much have we to 
anfwerfor, whilft, by the irregularity of our lives, we 
bring difcredit on our religion, and drive thofe from 
our Church, who, by a more confiftent conduct on 
our parts, might have been preferved, and have be- 
come our wanned and beft friends ! 



Permit me then, finally, to exhort with all earned- 
nefs the members of the Eftablifhment to let thefe our 
unhappy brethren of the Separation always find in us 
fellow-creatures, and fellow-chridians ; always di- 
pofed and ready to render them any office of hu- 
manity, of kindnefs, and of brotherly love. I do not 
wifh you to remit your endeavours to reclaim them, 
by demonftrating to them occafionally the evils and 
the dangers of their fchifm : but let your zeal always 
be tempered with prudence and tendernefs ; and, 
watching times and feafons, inftead of ufing up- 
braiding expreffions, labour, by the gentlenefs of your 
manner, to conciliate their good-will ; thus giving 
them an endearing proof of the benevolence of our 
religion. In no inilance will the correctnefs of our own 
conduct be followed by more beneficial effects than 
it will by the punctuality of our attendance on the 
fervices of our own Church. This juft and proper 
care in great things will, of courfe, be accompanied 
by a correfponding care about matters of fubordinate 
moment : and if, by the exemplarinefs of our own 
conduct, we can bring back again thefe our now- 
alienated brethren, let us hope, that the decent and 
dignified ftyle of our worfhip, together with the better 
order which (with all our degeneracy) dill prevails 
among us, may yet convince them of the impropriety 
and meannefsof that which they call worfhip, 

But let it be again repeated, and for ever remem- 
bered, that the beft (perhaps the only) means of 
Bringing lack into tie way of truth all fuch as have 

G 4 erred 9 


erred, and are deceived, is our being doubly careful, 
ourfelves, to adorn the doflrine of God our Saviour in 
all things. So fhall they whoyetjiand, bejlrengthened^ 
the weak-hearted, be comforted and helped ; thofe who 
have fallen, be raifed\ and Sat an finally be beaten down 
under our feet. And fo too fhall thofe, who now 
(through delufion) have forfaken us, be fetched home 
to the common fold of our common Lord : and we all, 
once more, be one fold, under one Jhepherd, Jefus Chrift 
the righteous. 

" O God, the Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, our 
" only Saviour, the Prince of Peace ! give us grace 
" ferioufly to lay to heart the great dangers we are 
" in from our unhappy divifions. Take away all 
" hatred and prejudice, and whatfoever elfe may 
cf hinder us from godly union and concord : that, as 
" there is but one body and one fpirit and one hope of 
<c our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptifm, one 
<c God and father of us all ; fo we may henceforth be 
" all of one heart and one foul, united in one holy 
" bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and 
<c may, with one mind and one mouth, glorify thee, 
" through Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen I 1 ' 






ISAIAH, ch. v. ver. 5, 6, 7. 

And now, go to, I will tell you what I will do to ??y 
vineyard: I will take away tie ledge thereof, and 
it Jball be eaten up ; and break down the wall thereof 9 
and it Jball be trodden down. And I will lay it 
wafte : it JJjall not be pruned nor digged, but there 
Jball come up briers and thorns. I will alfo com" 
mand the clouds, that they rain no rain upon it. For, 
the vineyard of the Lord of Hojts is the houfe of If r a el, 
and the men of Judah his pleafant plant : and he 
looked for judgment, but behold opprejfion ; for rigb- 
teoufnefs, but behold a cry. 

A HE parable, of which the three verfes jufl read 
to you may be called the expofition, or moral, is not 
more beautiful, than it is infinitive. The term 

* Preached at St. Mary's Church in Caroline County, in Vir- 
ginia; in the year 1771* 


vineyard, by which, in the Scriptures, the Church, 
(that is, the Elect, or chofen people of God) is ufually 
defignated, feems here to be applied to the boufe of 
Ifrael, rather in their religious, than in their civil, 
capacity. And, as the whole competition is clearly 
allegorical, confiftency requires that we fhould in- 
terpret all the circum fiances which are mentioned 
concerning it in a fenfe analagous to it's leading pur- 
pofe. Of courfe by the word fence (mentioned in the 
paflage, of which the text is a part) is to be underflood 
thofe rules and ordinances, by which the founder of 
this Church law fit to guard it from error, whether 
in principle or in practice : the Jiones that 'were to he 
gathered out of this vineyard, before itcouldbe^/^w/^ 
with the chofen vine, feem not more clearly to refer 
to the idolatrous nations which were to be driven out 
of the land of Canaan (when the houfe of Ifrael was 
to \>tflanted there in their ftead) than they do to the 
propriety of excluding the avowed enemies of the 
Church from any participation in it's government : 
and finally, the tower, which (whatever be it's literal 
import, both here and in thofe paflages of the gofpel 
in which our Saviour feems clearly to have adopted 
the imagery of this parable *) implying fomething of 
ftrength, defence, and protection j-, may undoubtedly 


* See Matth. xxi. 33, 345 and Mark xii. I. 

j* It is no uncommon imagery among ancient writers to call a 
perfon who affords a place of retreat, melter and protection to ano- 
ther, a tower. Thus Medea, meditating the dreadful deftrudion of 



be underftood to mean the guardians or governors 
whom the Almighty faw fit to appoint to the fuper- 
intendenceof his Church. 

The parable proceeds to ftate, in a manner equally 
affecting and forcible, that, admirably as this vineyard 
was planned and laid out, yet, owing either to the 
want of care, want of zeal, or want of fidelity in it's 
protectors, it ran to ruin ; and fo, in/lead of grapes, 
that is, the fruit of that choice vine which had been 
planted in it, it brought forth 'wild grapes. This, con- 
fiftently with the general fcopeof the parable, muft be 
underftood to imply, that, inflead of thofe fruits of 
right eoufnefs, which may be looked for from a true 
Church, this neglected and ill-governed Church, al- 
luded to in the parable, almoft neceflarily produced, in 
regular fucceffion, divifions, ilrifes, difputings about 
religion, latitudinarianifm, deifm, irreligion, and in- 

How applicable all this is to us, and our Church, 
cannot but be obvious to you. If, in any point, the 
refemblance may feem to fail, it is in this, that, inftead 
of having our hedges judicially broken down, trodden 
on, and taken away, we can hardly be faid ever to 
have raifed any fence at all. If our Church be not 

her hufband's houfe, puts it on the condition of her being able to 
find fome perfon capable and willing to protect her: *Hy /x 
VK V" ww'fx * orpaAJij (paw, that is, " if any one fliould arife as a 
tower of fafety to us." Mr. Woodhul, however, more literally 
renders it" if I can find fome fortrefs." Homer alfo fomewherc 
fays, Tro? y a^> isvpyos crtvhiro, 



wholly without rules and ordinances, (he certainly has 
no conftitutional authoritative guardians to enforce 

It was (I believe) about the middle of the laft 
century that our want of bifhops was fenfibly felt 
and lamented, and that applications for remedying 
the evil were made to the throne. Thefe applications 
\vere thought fo reafonable, that, under Charles the 
Second, a patent was actually made out for appoint- 
ing a bifhop of Virginia. By fome fatality or other 
(fuch as feems for ever to have purfued all the good 
meafures of the monarchs of that unfortunate family) 
the patent was not flgned when the king died : and, 
from that time to this, all exertions for the attainment 
of this deferable object,, though they have never wholly 
ceafed, have been as languid as the oppolition to them 
has been vehement. Never before, in any period of 
our hiitory, or in any part of the empire, was a mea- 
fure fo harmlefs, fo neceflary, and fo falutary, refilled 
and defeated on grounds fo frivolous, fo unwife, and 
fo unjuft. An account of it (if an accurate account 
of it could be given) would not only place the ftate 
of America in a new point of view, but exhibit a new 
feature in the hiftory of mankind. So ftriking an 
inftance of one part of a community being fuffered 
thus to wrong another on mere furmifes and fufpicions, 
and without any provocation, (as has been done by the 
opponents of epifcopacy,) it is hardly poffible to pro- 
duce. Or if (conlidering how many cafes may be 
met with in every hiftory, in which mankind have 



perverfely thwarted and fpited one another) this af- 
fertion (hould be deemed fomewhat too peremptory, 
it may at leaft be affirmed with confidence, that 
never before did any government fufFer itfelf to befb 
dictated to, and overawed, as the Britifh government 
did in the cafe before us. It is ftill more extraor- 
dinary that this part has been acled by the inferior, 
the benefited, and the obliged party : and that go- 
vernment has thus done violence to all the common 
principles of policy, in difobliging it's acknowledged 
friends, for the fake of obliging thofe whofe greatefl 
merit, as fubjecls, is that they have not yet, with open 
force, attempted the deftruclion of that eflential part 
of our conftitution againft which they omit no oppor- 
tunity to declare their enmity. If, whilft they are 
thus hoftile to the Church, we really can believe them 
to be cordial friends to the State, all I can fay is, that 
we fhall pay a compliment to their loyalty, at the 
expence of their ftency*. 


* " The Clergy of the Church of England, as in matters of faith 
" and morality they acknowledge no guide but the Scriptures, fo 
" in matters of external polity and private right they derive all 
" their title from the civil magiftrate. They look up to the king 
* c as their head, to the parliament as their law- giver ; and pride 
themfelves in nothing fo juftly as in being true members of the 
" Church, emphatically, by law eftabliftied. Whereas the prin- 
" ciples of thofe who differ from them, as well in one extreme as 
the other, are equally and totally deftruaive of thofe ties and 
obligations, by which all fociety is kept together ; equally en- 
" croaching on thofe rights which reafon and the original contraa 



Heretofore, the objectors to epifcopacy were found 
only among avowed diffenters. Their diflike to it is 
confident, as it is one of the chief reafons they aflign 
for feparating from us : however, much as we may, 
and do, lament their having left us, we have a right 
to blame thofe of them only, who, not contented 
with their own diflike, will not bear our continuing 
to like it. But, it is our fingular fate to have lived 
to fee a mofl extraordinary event in church hiffory ; 
profefled churchmen fighting the battles of difienters, 
and our worjt enemies now literally thofe of our own 

It can hardly be neceflary to inform you, that I 
here allude to the protefl of four Clergymen * againft 


'* of every free ftate in the univerfe have vefted in the fovereign 
" power ; and equally aiming at a diftinft and independent fupre- 
" macy of their own. The dreadful effe&s of fuch bigotry, when 
*' a&uated by erroneous principles, even of the proteftant kind, was 
*' fufficiently evident from the hiftory of the anabaptifts in Ger- 
* many, the covenanters in Scotland, and that deluge of fe&aries 
c< in England, who murdered their fovereign, fhook every pillar of 
'* law, juftice, and private property, and moft devoutly eflablifhed a 
*' kingdom of faints in their ftead." Blackftone, Book iv. ch. 8. 
Tol. iv. p. 104. 

* " As for thofe in the Clergy, whofe place and calling is lower, 
'* were it not that their eyes are blinded, left they mould fee the 
" thing that of all others is for their good moft effectual, fomewhat 
" they might confider the benefit they would enjoy, by having fuch 
an authority over them as are of the fame profeffion, body, and 
" fociety with them ; fuch as have trodden the fame fteps before ; 
w fuch as know, by their own experience, the manifold intolerable 

" contempts 


an application to the throne for an American epifco- 
pate, which was drawn up by a convention of the 
Clergy held in Williamfburg laft June ; and to the 
thanks voted by the Houfe of Burgefles * to thefe 
proteflers. This extraordinary meafure (in my humble 
opinion) is n direct attack on that Church which 
both the protefters and thofe who thanked them are 
bound to fupport, and at leaft an acl of difobedi- 
ence to that king whom both are equally bound to 
honour and obey. Forbearance on fuch a point the 
burgefles owed to their conftituents, who elecled 
them as guardians of that conilitution of which the 
eftablifhed Church is one eflential part : what re- 
Ipecl the Clergy owed to the Church, whofe miriifters 
they are ; to their ordination vows ; and to their 
own characters, none but themfelves (I think) can be 
at a lofs to determine. 

I am not fmgle in lamenting that fo refpecTtable a 
body of men as the Lower Houfe of Aflembly of Vir- 
ginia did not acl more cautioufly. Whatever any 
individuals among them might think of the intro- 
duction of a bifhop into this country, the queftion 

' contempts and indignities, which faithful paftors, intermingled 
" with the multitude, are conftrained every day to fuffer in the ex- 
" ercife of their fpiritual charge and function, unlefs their fuperiorf, 
" taking their caufe even to heart, be, by a kind of fympathy, drawn 
" to aid and relieve them, in their virtuous proceedings, no lefs than 

" loving parents their dear children." Hooker's Ecclefiaftical 

Polity, Book the 7th, p. 417. 

* That branch of the legiflature in Virginia, which is equivalent 
to the Houfe of Commons in Great Britain. 



was not then before them* I do not fee how it ever 
can come before them ; but (certainly) nothing has 
yet occurred relative to it, that calls for their inter- 
ference. Even admitting that they all thought fuch 
a meafure ill-judged, or dangerous, the way they 
took to exprefs their difapprobation was neither pru- 
dent nor decorous. It was not prudent, becaufe, as 
far as it has any efFect, it difcourages their friends, 
and encourages their foes : and it was not decorous, 
becaufe, inftead of flating any well-founded objec- 
tions of their own, they ftooped to the meannefs of 
adopting the appreheniions of others. Whatever be 
their diflike to epifcopacy, it is hardly within the 
reach of fuppofition that they can be pleafed with 
the apoftacy of the protefters ; who, at this moment, 
are eating the bread of that Church whom they fo 
ungratefully defert in this her hour of need. 

After all, there is reafon to believe, that this relblve 
of thanks was an hafty and inconliderate refolve, and 
was carried in a thin houfe taken by furprife. This 
is a misfortune to which all men, in their public ca- 
pacities, are liable ; and therefore every pofiible al- 
lowance fhould be made for it. Of thofe who did 
acquiefce in the vote, feveral might not forefee the 
confequences of what they were doing. And when 
-time (hall have cooled men's paffions, and prejudice 
fhall give way to reafon, not a doubt can be enter- 
tained but that, both for their own honour, and the 
honour of the eflablifhed Church, this refolve will 
be refcinded from their Journals. 

3 Many 


Many old men among us, who had the happinefs 
to be eftablifhed in their principles in other times 
than thefe, fee and lament that a great change has 
taken place with refpect to the Church and Church- 
men in Virginia. They remember when, excepting 
a few inoffenfive quakers, there was not in the whole 
colony a fingle congregation of dhTenters of any 

The firft act of affembly pafled in Virginia after the 
Reftoration was an Act for the Settlement of Religion. 
It's preamble is curious : " Becaufe it is impoffible 
" to ferve and honour the king as we ought, unlefs 
" we ferve God ; therefore be it enacted, &c." thus 
making the fervice and honour of the king the reafon 
of the act for the fervice of God and the eftablifhment 
of religion. This act is founded altogether on the 
good old principle of obedience for confcience fake. 
Loyalty was then as eminent as what we call Liberty 
is now rampant. 

Loyalty, in its exceffes, may have been abfurd ; 
but it never was fervile : even in thofe days of 
exuberant loyalty, our people were capable of think- 
ing for themfelves ; and what they thought they were 
not afraid to afTert. Virginia was the laft of the 
Britifh dominions that fubmitted to CrormVelFs 
ufurpation, and the firfl that proclaimed Charles II. 
king. But now, taking our cue from popular de- 
claimers and popular writers in the Parent State, we 
are as forward as the boldefl to reprobate all thofe 
high notions of loyalty which fo honourably diftin- 

H guiihed 


gtiifhed us in the bed periods of our hiftory. On fhd 
principles of an equal zeal for the prerogatives of the 
crown, and for (he juil liberties of the people, our con- 
ilitution was founded ; and on thefe alone it can now 
be maintained : though every pert fmatterer in politics 
has the hardinefs and irreverence to attack all thofe 
it's ftrong points, which our anceilors reverenced as 
it's chief excellence and fupport. It furely was fome- 
thitig more than ridiculous, when (not long fince) 
a popular candidate at one of our elections folicited 
your fuffrages in his favour, on the plea of his being, 
as to his political tenets, a Whig, and the advocate of 
revolution principles; and in religion, a Low-church- 
man. If folly can ever excufe audacity, this man's 
utter ignorance of the terms he ufed, may be ad- 
mitted as fome apology for his prefumption. There 
is (no doubt) a fober fenfe to which thefe now fa- 
fhionable terms may be reftricled, fo as not to be 
inconfiftcnt with the duties which every wife and 
good man owes to his country : but (it is with forrovv 
I declare) this is not the fenfe in which I have of 
late generally heard them ufed, or in which they 
were ufed by the popular candidate in queftion. The 
conduct of thofe among us who are nioft forward to 
ailume thefe titles affords but too frequent proofs, 
that to be a whig conilfts in being haughty and 
overbearing in domefiic life ; in being infolent to 
inferiors^ and tyrannical to flaves ; that to fupport 
revolution principles is, in every thing, to oppofe and 
thwart the executive power ; and that to be a low- 


church-man is to entertain and avow a low opinion 
of religion in general, and efpecially of eftablifhed 
religion, manifefted by never going to church. That 
fo total and important a change in the public mind 
cannot fail to have a mighty influence on the whole 
of our colonial iyftem, is evident : but, as the di- 
cuffion of fuch a point may not perhaps be thought 
immediately connected with the queftion before us, 
I wave it ; and (for the prefent) content myfelf with 
obferving that, though fuch caufes have not hitherto 
been much infivted on in the controverfy, they ap- 
pear clearly to be the ground- work of all the prefent 
oppolition to epifcopacy. 

A few years ago it was the misfortune of the Clergy 
of this colony to have a difpute with it's Laity. You 
will readily recollect, that I allude to the act of af- 
fembly which was called the Two-penny Acl. Of 
this act (anxious as I am not to repeat grievances) 
fuffice it to fay that, on the final decifion of the dif- 
pute, the Aflembly was found to have done, and the 
Clergy to have fuffered, wrong. The aggrieved may, 
and we hope often do, forgive ; but it has been ob- 
ferved that aggreflbrs very rarely forgive. Ever 
iince this controverfy your Clergy have experienced 
every kind of difcourtefy and difcouragement. It is 
allowed, that the Church is ftill in great want of the 
public countenance and encouragement : yet fo far 
are we from being permitted to look up to you as 
the patrons and protectors of piety and learning, 
that we are threatened to be reduced to an hum- 

H2 We 


ble dependence on popular authority and popular 

One confequence of this change in the public 
opinion and public conduct towards us is, that, al- 
though thirty years ago there was not in the whole 
colony a fingle difTenting congregation, there are 
now, according to the bed information I can obtain, 
not lefs than eleven dhTenting rninifters regularly fet- 
tled, who have each from two to four congrega- 
tions under their care. As to the numbers of fecta- 
ries and itinerant priefts, (and in particular of thofe 
fwarms of feparatifts who have fprung up among us 
within the lall feven years, under the name of ana- 
baptifls and new-lights,) I might alrnoft as \vell pre- 
tend to count the gnats that buzz around us in a 
fummer's evening. Like gnats, moreover, the noife 
which feclaries make not only difturbs and is difa- 
greable, but we find, that though they can neither 
give pleafure, nor do any good, they do not want 
either the difpoiition or the ability of thofe little in- 
figniflcant animals to teafe, to fting, and to torment. 

To thofe who are aware how much more apt all 
multitudes are to be guided by their paffions than 
by their judgment, it will not appear extraordinary, 
that, in fuch times as thefe, a fcheme propofed by the 
Clergy fhould excite the jealoufy of fuch a people. 
But, that fuch jealoufies are either neceilary, wife, 
or juft, can be imagined by thofe only who are fo ill- 
informed as to think the maintenance of true religion 
of no moment to a State ; and have fo little judgment 



or fo little concern for the true intereft of their coun- 
try, as to fuppofe, that it's prefent form of civil go- 
vernment may be thus altered, by multitudes and 
by mobs, without infinite detriment to our civil as 
well as to our religious interefts. To oppofe epifco- 
pacy is in efFecl: to fly in the face of, and to oppofe, 
the eftablifiied Church. Now, whether this Church 
be moil favourable to true religion, and to our prefent 
admirable conilitution ; or thofe other CHURCHES, as 
they are proud to be called, which too probably hope 
to rife on her ruins, let the proteilers, and thofe who 
have thanked the protefters, judge for themfelves : 
but let them not (as is evidently their aim) judge for 

Every country acls naturally and prudently in mak- 
ing it's ecclefiaftical polity conformable to it's civil 
government :|and it certainly is not eafy, if it be pof- 
fible, to name a government that ever fubfifted long 
without fome connexion or alliance with religion Aj 
In arbitrary governments, the Church has a corre- 
fponding domination ; whilft, in democracies, eccle- 
fiaftics are in general wholly dependent on the people. 
Ours is a mixed government, partaking equally of 
monarchical and popular authority; and confequently, 
the government of the Church is alfo mixed. Thus 
formed and fitted for each other, Church and State 
mutually fupport, and are fupported by, each other. 

* M. Lally-Tolendal, in his eloquent Defence of the French 
Emigrants, fliews, that a National Church is eflential even under a 
republican form of government. 

H 3 


Each is a part of each ; each a part of the conftitution ? 
and an injury cannot be done to the one without the 
other's feeling it. 

Every maxim or principle of this fort that applies 
to the Parent State is no lefs applicable to this do- 
minion *. If the civil and eccleliaftical parts of the 
constitution there be fo intimately connected and 
blended together that they cannot be diflevered with- 
out mutual detriment and danger, there muft be no 
inconfiderable danger and detriment in their being 
diflevered here ; becaufe the government of this 
country profefles to be, and is, formed on the model 
of that. And if we have hitherto fubfifted without 
fuch a complete and perfect union of Church and 
State, it is probable (if indeed it be not certain) that 
this our trans-Atlantic conftitution has been mate- 
rially injured by it. It has, indeed, been fo palpably 
and greatly injured by this growing indifference to 
our religious interefts, that many firm friends of their 
country think they fee but too much reafon to fear, 
that if it be not fpeedily and effectually altered, a fad 
experience will foon convince the moft incredulous 
and heecllefs, how mifchievous and fatal their error, 
or their inattention, has been. God forbid any of 
us fhould live to fee the day when we may be con- 
vinced of the truth of king James's maxim " No 
f( bimop, no king !" and when this dominion^ no\v 
the fair image of one of the beft governments upon 

* Before the late revolution, Virginia wa3 never 3 like the other 
colonies, called a province, rarely a colpny : it's general term of de- 
fignation was dominion. 

earth a 


earth, (hall be fo degenerate and mean as to become 
the ape of New England in her civil inftitutions, and 
therefore too likely to follow the fame wretched 
model in what the people of New England call the 
platform of religion ! And when it is recollected, 
that, till now, the oppofition to an American epif- 
copate * has been confined chiefly to the dema- 
gogues and independents of the New England pro- 
vinces, but that it is now efpoufed with much warmth 
by the people of Virginia, it requires no great depth of 
political fagacity to fee what the motives and views 
of the former have been, or what will be the confe- 
quences of the defection of the latter. 

The conftitution of the Church of England is ap- 
proved, confirmed, and adopted by our laws, and in- 
terwoven with them. No other form of church- 

* " Monf. Caches, one of the mfmfters of Charenton, afks, how 
" comes it to pafs, that thofe of your (Englifh) Prefbyterians, who 
" are great, underftanding, and wife men, have fuch an averfion 
" againfl moderate epifcopacy ? The name of fchifm may do more 
" harm in one year, than all the excefs of epifcopal authority 
" can do in an age. And Monf. Le Moyne alfo fays, I cou- 
'* fefs I conceive not by what fpirit they are led, who oppofe that 
" (epifcopal) government, and cry it down with fuch violence. For, 
" I defy any man, whoever he be, to mew me another Order more 
" fuitable with reafon, or better agreeing with Holy Scripture ; 
" and of which God made more ufe for the eftablimment of his 

" truth, and the amplification of his kingdom. In the firft age, 

" there was always fome fubordination in the Church ; and in the 
" time of her innocency, me was always conducted by a govern- 
" ment equivalent to the epifcopal." Durell, p. 122 124, 125. 

H 4 govern- 


government than that of the Church of England 
would be compatible with the form of our civil go- 
vernment. No other colony has retained fo large a 
portion of the monarchical part of the Britifh con- 
flitution as Virginia; and between that attachment to 
monarchy and the government of the Church of 
England there is a ilrong connexion *. A levelling 
republican fpirit in the Church naturally leads to re- 
publicanifm in the State ; neither of which would 
heretofore have been endured in this ancient dominion. 

As the Church of England government is adapted 
to the laws of our country, fo is the order of bifhops 
adapted to our liturgy ; which always fuppofes bifhops 
to be reiident among us. And indeed fome parts 
of it cannot properly be ufed on any other fuppo- 
fition. If we are ftill to go on without bifhops, that 
we may be conliftent, it will be neceflary that we 
fhould alfo be without a liturgy ; or, at any rate, that 
the excellent one we now ufe fhould undergo feveral 
material alterations. 

Since then // is evident to all men diligently reading 
tie Scriptures and ancient authors^ (as our Church in 

* " His Majefty has fummoned this convocation, not only be- 
" caufe it is ufual upon holding a parliament, but out of pious 
*' zeal to do every thing that may tend to the eftablifliment of the 
" Church of England j which is fo eminent a part of the refor- 
" mation, and is certainly left fulted to the conftitution of this go- 

" vernment." King William's Speech to the Convention. See 

Tindall's Continuation of Rapin. 



the general preface to her Ordination offices declares,) 
that from the ApoftUs time there has been this order m 
ChriJFs Church, hi/hops, friefts and deacons, as federal 
offices : and that epifcopacy, thus founded, was pro- 
pagated over the world with the faith .itfelf, (there be- 
ing no nation that received the one without the other,) 
let us at length learn to confider bifhops (not with the 
jaundiced eyes of party pique, but in their true light) 
as dignified, learned, and faithful guides of fouls, to 
be fent hither purely on a religious account, to per- 
form functions, which, in thefe countries and thefc 
times, feem to be peculiarly neceflary. Thefe fum> 
tions (befides the government of the Clergy, and be- 
lides their being the intermediate links to connect 
the Clergy with the Legiflative or Executive Power) 
are ordination and confirmation, offices purely epif- 
copalj and fuch as in no well-ordered church were 
ever adminiftered by any one under the dignity of a 

The want of ordination is an infringement of reli- 
gious liberty ; depriving churchmen of an indulgence 
and advantage which are not withheld from difien- 
ters. The fame may be faid of the want of confir- 
mation. It matters not that many Chriftians, who 
are of a different communion, think lightly of con- 
firmation. As long as there are many thoufands of 
good fubjefts, who believe it to be eftenttal to Chrif- 
tians, no reafon can be given why they fhould not be 
tolerated as 'well as other Chriftians are in the rites 
and doctrines of their refpective religions. 



Confirmation is of great antiquity : it began with 
the Apoftles, and has been continued down to this 
day. We are told in the Acts *, that St. Philip, 
though ordained to preach the gofpel, and even em- 
powered to work miracles, would not afTurne the of- 
fice of confirming his own converts, the Samaritans, 
but left it to the apoitles St. Peter and St. John as 
their peculiar province. Accordingly they were fent 
by the College of the Apoftles to lay hands on them, 
(that is, to confirm them,) a ceremony fHll performed 
by the laying on of hands. We Proteftants do not, 
with the Romanifts, make this rite a facrament : yet 
we underftand and believe it to be a conveyance of 
grace to the perfon confirmed. This inference is 
drawn from that paffage in Scripture f, in which we 
are informed, that the Ephefians, after they were 
baptized and confirmed by St. Paul, received the Holy 
Gloft ; as was the cafe with the Samaritans men- 
tioned in the viiith chapter of the Acts J. And, con- 
fidering the nature of the ceremony, what can be 
more proper, than that perfons, who have been bap- 
tized in their infancy, fliould, when they come to years, 
of difcretion, take upon themfelves their baptifrnal 
vows ; and in their own perfons ratify and confirm 
what their fureties, ly reafon of their tender age, did 
then promife for them ? 

And however lightly fome perfons may affecl to 
regard the bleffing, which is to be pronounced by the 

* Chap. yiii. 17. f As xi*. 6. JVer. 17. 


fa/fop, if he be prefent, we, who deduce it from apof- 
tolical authority, may at leaft be forgiven for wifhing 
it could be obtained ; and for hoping alfo, (as one of 
the popes is reported to have exprefTed himfelQ that 
it may do good, and can do no harm. 

It is no part of my principles or purpofe to be the 
apologift of any thing that is really fuperftitious. But 
there is reafon to fear that many things eflential to 
true religion are now fometimes depreciated, merely 
under the notion of their being fuperftitious. It is to 
be hoped, however, that there is no fuperftition in 
believing that what God has promifed he will per- 
form ; or in believing that he accompanies with his 
bleffing means which are of his own appointing. 
Let it, under this head, be yet farther added, that our 
Church lays fuch a ftrefs on confirmation that, where 
it, can be had, none are to be admitted to the holy 
communion until they are confirmed,, or are defirous 
and ready to be confirmed. 

The fate of the applications for an American epif- 
copate has been fingular and unprecedented. That 
an eftablifhed Church, which gives fuch ample and 
liberal toleration to feclaries of every name, fhould 
herfelf not be tolerated, is a phenomenon in political 
hiftory peculiar, to the American world *. Whilfr, 


* " The want of bifhops in America hath been all along the more 
' heavily lamented, becaufe it is a cafe fo fingular, that it cannot be 
" paralleled in the Chriftian world. For, what fed was ever any 
f where at all allowed the worftiip of God according to their own 



without a murmur, vye fee diflenters of every deno- 
mination enjoying their full rights under their feveral 
forms of religious difcipline, why fhould it have given 
offence that Churchmen have requeiled to have at 
lead as full an enjoyment of her rights granted to the 

" conference, without being alfo allowed the means within them- 
" felves of providing for the continual exercife of their worfhip ? The 
" granting one without the other would be but a mockery. Yet, 
" fuch is the ftate of our Church in the colonies, and at a time and 
*' in a realm where the rights of confcience are beft underftood, and 
" moft fully allowed and protected. All feds of Proteftant Chrif- 
' tians at home, and all, fave one, throughout our colonies, have the 
" full enjoyment of their religion. Even the Romi/h fuperftition, 
" within a province lately added to the BritiJh dominions, is com* 
' pletely allowed in all it's parts ; it hath bifhops. Thus Hands the 
*' cafe of all Churches in our colonies, except only the Church here 
' by law eftablifhed ; that alone is not tolerated in the whole ; it ex- 
" ills only in a part, in a maimed ftate, lopt of epifcopacy, an eflen* 
' tial part of its conftitution. And whence this difgraceful diftinc- 
tion ? Whence this mark of diftruft ? What is the fear ? What 
** the danger ? A few perfons vefted with authority, to ordain mi- 
" nifters, to confirm youth, and to vifit their own clergy. Can two 
" or three perfons, reftrained to thefe fpiritual functions, be dan- 
*' gerous to any in any matter ? in what ? or to whom ? Can they 
" poffibly, fo limited, on any pretence whatever, attempt to moleft 
** any in their religious concerns ? Can they invade the right or ju- 
" rifdi&ion of magillrates ? Can they infringe the liberties of the 
** people ? Can they weaken, or be thought to weaken, the fidelity 
" of the colonies to his Majefty, or their dependence on this coun- 
" try ? To thefe duties, if there be any difference, the members of 
<* this Church, as fuch, are bound by one fpecial motive, befides the 

** motive common to them with all other fubje&s." Bp. Ewer's 

Sermon before the Society for propagating the Gofpel in Foreign 
Parts, in 1767, p. 32. 



National Church ? Of the minifters alone of the 
Church of England it may be faid, that, as rninifters, 
we have no law, and are under no controul. And 
when this is urged as an argument to make us amen- 
able to thejurifdi&ion of lay-courts in matters purely 
fpiritual, is it not time to obviate the objection ; and 
time to fhew, by petitioning for an epifcopate, that 
we are far from defiring to continue exempt from all 
jurifdiction ? our only aim being, if poflible, to obtain 
a constitutional jurifdiclion. 

It is poilible that, in fome future period, the lay 
perfons, whom we hear it is propofcd now to inveft 
with fuch ecclefiaftical powers, may not be of the 
communion of the Church of England ; or they may 
be Low -churchmen. Now, as it is to be hoped that 
there are in our Order many who do not belong to 
that denomination, it furely would be hard on High- 
church delinquents (who, however profcribed by mo- 
dern patriots, are, happily, not yet profcribed by our 
laws) have both their judge and jury compofed of 
men decidedly adverfe to them. Though fuch a 
circumftance fhould never occur, yet, whenever fpi- 
ritual perfons are liable to be called upon by laymen 
to anfvver for fpiritual offences, our Church would 
then no longer be epifcopal ; but, if any thing, pref- 
byterian. It will be prepofterous for us then to fay, 
that the Church of England is the eftablifhed religion 
of Virginia. 

We are not feldom tauntingly told that the dif- 
fenters are daily increafing ; and their increafe is 



confidently imputed to our rernirThefs. That difleri- 
ters do increafe, and that true religion is forely 
wounded and hurt by the wild ravings of numerous 
enthufiaftic preachers, the eftabliftied Clergy are not 
fb happy as to be ignorant. Mueh wrong, we ac- 
knowledge, is inflicted on our diftracled country ; 
and what is worfe, it is inflicted without experiencing 
the animadverfions of thofe who are bound to prevent 
it. The blame, however, we humbly truft, cannot, 
without injuflice, be all laid at our door. We are 
not fo felf-fufficient as to pretend that we do all that 
is in our power to flop the progrefs of this increafing 
evil : and for this, many of us, I know, are (as we all 
ought to be) exceedingly humbled and forry. God 
enable us to do our duty better for the time to come ! 
But whilft we confefs and lament our own unwor- 
thinefs, it is not neceflary, nor wife, nor virtuous, to 
charge ourfelves with more un worth inefs than really 
belongs to us. For many reafons it is not in our 
power to do more than is already done. Our hands 
are tied up; and we fay (and think we could prove *) 


* " The proper and only remedy hath long fince been pointed 
" out, the appointment of one or more refident bifhops for the 
" exercife of offices purely epifcopal, in the American Church of 
fe England ; for admiriiitering the folemn and edifying rite of con- 
(< firmation ; for ordaining minifters, and fupei intending their con- 
" duft : offices, to which the members of the Church of England 
" have ?n undoubted claim, and from which they cannot be pre- 
" eluded without manifeft injuflice and opprefiion. The defign 
" hath been laid before the public in the moft unexceptionable 



that they can be untied only by granting us an epif- 

It is a facl well deferving our attention, that both 
diffenters, and the itinerant preachers, with whom 
the colony is now over-run, make profelytes chiefly, if 
not wholly, in parifhes that He long vacant, without 
any incumbent in them ; or where the incumbent is 
old and infirm, and unequal to the duties of his pa- 
rim ; or, in any other relpec"l, is incompetent to the 
difcharge of his function. If we had a bimop, he 
would be of great fervice to the Church in redrefling 
this inconvenience ; and he would redrefs it by means 
as natural and eafy as they would be effectual. More 

." form (a]; it hath been fupported againtl every objection, which un- 
*' reafonablc and indecent oppofition hath raffed, by arguments unan- 
" f\vered and unanhverable; unlefs groundless fears, invidious furmifes, 
" injurious fufpicions ; unlefs abfurd demands of needlefs and imprac- 
*' ticable fecurities againil dangers altogether imaginary and impro- 
" bable, are to fet afide undoubted rights, founded upon the plaineft 
*' maxims of religious liberty ; upon the common claim of mutual 
" toleration, that favourite but abufed principle, the glory and 
" the difgrace of Proteftantifm, which all are forward enough to 
" profefs, but few ileadily praSife ; and which thofe who claim it 
*' in the fulled extent for themfelves, are fometimes lead of all 

" inclined to indulge in any degree to others." Bp. Lowth's 

Sermon before the Society for propagating the Gofpel in Foreign 
Parts, in 1771. 

(a) The biiliop here alludes to the fundry treatifes in behalf of an American 
episcopate, and, in particular, to " An appeal to the Public," and " The Appeal 
defended," written by my late excellent friend, Dr. Chandler of Elizabeth Town ki 
New Jerfey, than which a more temperate, more able, or more Chriftian appeal 
has not been mads lo the world fincc the times of the firft apologifts of ChriAi- 



of our young men would probably be brought up to 
the Church than is now the cafe if they could be 
ordained without the expence and the hazard of a 
long voyage. They then, after being ordained dea- 
cons,, might, and no doubt would, (as in point of re- 
gularity they always ought,) officiate as deacons for 
the ufual term of three years. During this period, 
as they could riot be indudled into parifhes, they 
might ufefully and commendably be employed in af- 
fifling lame, fick, or fuperannuated minifters ; or in 
doing the duty in vacant parifhes. For, confidering 
that there are no pluralifts among us, and that our 
incomes are extremely limited, it is not likely that we 
fhould ever have curates among us in the fame way 
as they are employed in the Parent State. But were 
there among us a competent number of young un- 
employed divines, the people would then no longer 
have the plea of neceffity for reforting to conven- 
ticlespr field -preachers *, from the want of regular 
teachers in their own parifh-churches. Our veftries 
too, when called on to elecl; a minifter into a vacant 
parifh, would have applications from more candidates, 
and fo have a better chance and opportunity of pro- 
viding a proper minifter. It feems but too certain, 
that from the difcountenancc lately fhevvn to the 
Church, there are not at prefent in the colony, Cler- 

* " Inde fchifmata & hserefes oborta funt oriuntur, dum 
** epifcopus, qui unus eft, & ecclefias prae-eft, fuperba quorumnam 
** prsefumptione, contemnitur : & homo dignatione Dei honoratus, 
" indignus hominibus judicature" -Cyprian. Epift. 69. 



gymen in point of number nearly equal to the exi- 
gencies of the colony. 

If the Clergy of this dominion be perfuaded (as I 
affirm with confidence we in general are) that the 
Church of England cannot have the full enjoyment 
and benefit of her offices, until a bifhop be fettled 
among us ; if we can make it appear that fuch an ap- 
pointment will increafe the number of candidates, 
and thus furnifh the country with better means of 
choofing new minifters; if, relying on the teftimony of 
hiftory, we believe that a bifhop will be a great help 
and encouragement to fuch Clergymen as are folicit- 
ous to difcharge the duties of their profeflion well, 
and alfo be a terror to the evil-minded; and if, finally, 
no inference that can be drawn from any premifes be 
more logical and more fair than it is, that the interefts 
of morality and found religion will thus be very ef- 
fentially promoted ; we cannot but hope, that no true 
and intelligent friend to civil and religious liberty 
will any longer blame us for uflng all the legal and 
honourable means in our power to obtain at leaft a 
toleration for ourfelves and our Church. 

If we be alked (as we have been alked) why, if we 
want reformation, we cannot reform ourfelves ? To 
this flippant queftion I hope it will be a fufficient 
anlvver, if, in my turn, I alk another: Why may not, 
and why do not, mankind in general live honeftly^fo- 
lerly and godly in the prefent ivorld^ without laws, and 
without the aid of civil rulers ? If men were as good 
as they know it is their interpft to be, laws and go- 

I vernors 


vernors would be unnecefiary. But the world is 
peopled, not with angels, but with men, whofe moral 
conduct has hitherto been found to be mod generally 
influenced by the fanclion of rewards and punifh- 
ments. And in the prefent (late of our nature, it is 
as neceflary that fome men fhould be flimulated to 
be virtuous as it is that others fhould be deterred 
from being vicious. Suppofing the feeds of virtue to 
be fown in the human breaft, yet for want of culture 
they never may fprout forth. Good laws and wife 
rulers are the only means yet known for cherifhing 
good principles : and therefore to deprive any fet of 
men of either, and much more of both, is (at lead as 
far as thofe men are concerned) to chill and flarve all 
virtuous principles, as well as to nip in the bud every 
generous and public-fpirited action. 

The Church of Chrift has been governed by bifhops 
ever fince it was a church. And epifcopacy has 
been proved to be the bed form of church govern- 
ment, by the experience, not of one or two ages, and 
one or two countries only, but by the experience of 
every age, and of all Chridendom. To withhold from 
that found part of it, the American Church of Eng- 
land, fuch teachers and fuch rulers as her very being 
depends upon, is to withhold from her fuch undoubted 
rights as have hitherto been deemed facred ; and is 
alfo offering a mod violent outrage to civil liberty. 
It is, indeed, to un-church the Eftablifhed Church. 
Who that is at all acquainted with human nature, 
would wonder if fuch treatment fhould four the minds 



of even the mildeft and beft of her Clergy, and cool 
their zeal to do good ? And, as if all this was not 
fufficiently humiliating, they have the additional mor- 
tification to fee the authors of their wrongs rifing on 
their ruins. The members of every other fyftem of 
religion enjoy all their rights and privileges to the 
utmoft extent of their wifhes : and as fome wavering 
members of the Church of England, through the 
depreffion of the Church, forfake her, they alfo go 
over to thofe who have firft made our Church low 
and mean, and then take this advantage of her being 
fa. Hence, the injuftice of which we have to com- 
plain is both negative and pofitive. Are we then 
either unreafonable, afTuming, or intolerant, when 
we fpeak of fuch conduct as partial in the extreme ; 
as unwife and unjufl; as a perveriion of law; an 
infringement of the Toleration Acl ; and as an ob- 
vious encouragement to diflenters ? And what is the 
policy that dictates fuch an extraordinary proceeding 
as the refufing to this whole continent (a large portion 
of the globe) a regular Church ? For what, and for 
whom, fhall the Britifh empire fufFer the truly Apofto- 
lic Church of England, the great guardian of the 
Chriftian Religion, and the bulwark of the Reforma- 
tion, to be thus perfecuted, and trampled on ? That 
our Legiflature fhould endure calmly to look on, 
whilil fo much mifchicf is doing, without making an 
effort to prevent it, is a circumftance fufficient to 
aroufe the mod torpid : but that they fhould likewife 
join in the cry, and lend an helping hand to pull 

I ^ do\vn 


down the Church, is fo portentous a phenomenon in the 
political world, as to alarm the moft carelefs and fecure. 

This propofed American epifcopate labours under 
this great difadvantage, that the minds of men are 
prepoflefled and prejudiced againft it ; and that they 
view it through a falfe medium. Defigns are imputed 
to its advocates, which they utterly difavow : and 
any general oppofition, however diilngenuous and 
illiberal, is rarely without effect. We are called 
upon to defend what we propofe, by anfwering ob- 
jections which lie again!! what we do not propofe. 
Thole who have brought us into this dilemma, have 
not done fo without defign. They know how much 
eaiier it is fairly to meet and reply to a matter of fact, 
than it is to argue, in an endlefs round, againft fuf- 
picions and furmifes. Every objection, however un- 
founded, that bore but the appearance of reafon, has 
been replied to, and obviated, again and again : thofe 
of paffion and prejudice, ground! efs conjectures and 
illiberal fuggcftions, can be obviated by Him alone 
who has the hearts of all men in his hands, and can 
turn anddifpofe them as itfeemeth left to bis godly wifdom. 

It is probable that at lead fome of the oppofers of 
epifcopacy oppofe it only becaufe, like Diotrephes, 
they themfelves love to have the f re-eminence *. And it 
may not perhaps be thought out of character, for 
thofe who think it right to oppofe the fucceflbrs of 
the Apoflles to follow the example of him who 
prated malicious words f againft the laft furvivor of the 

* 3 Gen. Epift. St, John, ver. 9. f Ibid. ver. 10. 



Apoftles. Be this as it may, as long as fuch unquiet 
and refllefs men continue to oppofe and exalt tlemfelves 
above all that is called of God, fo long it is the duty 
of the friends of truth to endeavour to fatisfy even 
thofe who feem refolved to be fatisfied with nothing. 
This talk and this labour we might well have been 
fpared, if thofe who bring no new arguments would 
only be fo realbnable as to be contented with the old 
anfwers given to their predeceflbrs. To the mere 
declamatory retailers of obfolete and exploded cavils, 
filence and contempt might perhaps be thought the 
mod fuitable reply : but, when men in high ftations 
think it not beneath them to pick up and circulate, 
under their own authority, not merely weak argu- 
ments, but oft-refuted flanders, refpecl to thofe who 
have raifed them to thefe high ftations entitles them to 
a more particular attention. Still, however, let it be 
recollected, that the fanclion and fupport which great 
names give to weak arguments, are but temporary, 
feeble, and delufive. Exalted characters do irrepara- 
ble injury to their fellow-creatures, when they fuffer 
themfelves to be made the vehicles of the mifcon- 
ceptions of the ignorant, or the mifreprefentations of 
the evil-minded. But, whatever may be the weight 
of error and of vice, when proceeding from the mouth 
of truth and virtue, ftill it is the duty of every good 
Chriftian, and more efpecially the duty of us, who are 
the miniftersof thegofpel, to refift both the open at- 
tacks and the fecret machinations of our adverfaries* 
dmirable is the advice of the Son of Sirach on fuch 
I occafions : 


occafions : Olferve tie opportunity, and beware of evil; 
and be not afhamed when it concerneth thy foul. For, 
there is afoamewhich hringethfm, and there is ajhame 
winch is glory and grace. And refrain not to fpeak 
when there is occafion to do good, and hide not thy wif- 
dom. Make not thy f elf an underling to a fooli/b man, 
neither accept the per f on of the mighty. Strive for the 
truth unto death, and the Lord Jhall fght for thee*. 

No man can ever addrefs an audience with greater 
confidence of being liftened to with candour, than I 
now do. I have lived among you now more than 
feven years, as your minifter, in fuch harmony as to 
have had no difagreement with any man even for a 
day. This has made fuch an impreflion of efteem 
and affection on my mind, as no time can efface. 
Confcious that I have never taught you any doctrine 
of the truth of which I was not myfelf well convinced, 
1 am fure you will give me all the attention I can 
deferve. But, we now have among us perfons with 
whom I have not the happinefs to be fo intimately 
connected ; perfons brought hither by your flattering 
partiality to me, to hear this particular fubject fully 
argued and difcufled ; perfons who, it is probable, 
know me only as a reputed high-churchman, and the 
enemy of feels and feclaries. From fuch perfons, 
however refpeclable they may be in other points of 

* Ecclus. ch. iv. ver. 20. 



view, it would be romantic in me to look for any 
fuch indulgence as I am in the habit of receiving from 
you. I feel myfelf much obliged to them for the pa- 
tience and decency with which they liflened to me 
lad Sunday. But, though it be no more than I 
might have expected, I muft confefs, I am hurt and 
mortified by hearing, that they have been difappointed 
in my doctrine. They complain (and with fome 
fhew of reafon) that I did not, as they expected I 
would have done, fet out with firft proving the divine 
authority of epifcopacy : nor are there wanting fome 
who infinuate, that it's having any fuch authority is a 
doctrine incapable of proof. I am happy, therefore, 
in thus having an opportunity of giving a fuller, and, 
if I can, a more fatisfactory anfvver to thefe other 
doubts, of which I have now been firfl informed. 
To many of you, it is to be feared, the argument 
may appear uninterefting and tedious : but, a general 
topic of converfation as the fubjedl is now become, 
among people of all ranks and characters, it would 
be with fome reafon I fhould be fufpefted of confult- 
ing my own feelings only, were I now to fhrink from 
it. Bear with me, then, whilft, as concifely as I can, 
I firft give you the outlines (the time will not admit 
of more) of the proofs moft ufually adduced in favour 
of the divine authority of epifcopacy : after which I 
will clofe the fubject with a reply to each of the moft 
material objections which have been urged by the 

The firft inftitution of government in the Church 
I 4 was 


was when the Founder of the Church chofe and ap- 
pointed twelve Apoftles. He ordained them (faith 
St. Mark) that they fhould be with him, and that 
'be might fend them forth to f reach. As it was the 
practice of our Saviour to adopt, and (in every in- 
flance where he could with propriety) give his fanction 
to, Jewifh ideas and cuftoms, it is more than probable, 
that in this formation of a fyftem of Church Eftablifti- 
ment he adopted the polity of the Jewifh Church. 
Thus, correfponding with the high-prieft, priefts, and 
Levites, were, at firft, Chrift, apoftles, and difciples ; 
and afterwards, apoftles, (or bifhops,) priefts, and 
deacons. Whilft Chrift was on earth, he alone or- 
dained or made apoftles and difciples ; but, before his 
afcenfion, he gave to the Apoftles, then with him, 
the power to ordain or make other apoftles and 
difciples. They planted churches, and ordained 
bifhops to prefide over them : fuch bifhops were 
ftationary ; and had power alfo given them to appoint 
inferior officers, as priefts and deacons. The name 
of apoftle died with the Apoftles, but not the office. 
That remained with the bifhop, who was the chief 
ruler or overfeer. To him alfo was referved the 
power of ordination and confirmation ; priefts and 
deacons having authority only to preach and to bap- 
tife : to the priefts alfo, but not to deacons, was al- 
lotted the power of abfolution. But the three regular 
flated orders in the Church, from the beginning, 
were bifhops, priefts, and deacons. 

It is probable, moreover, that Chrift gave to the 



perfdns of his firfi: and highcft choice the name of 
apqpbs, not for any reafons of his own devifing, but 
in allulion, or reference, to a fimilar inftitution among 
the Jewim high-pricfts ; who alfo had a peculiar kind 
of minifters, whom they called apoftles. Thefe they 
employed in inftrucling the priefts ; in vifiting the 
feveral fynagogues ; and in reproving a degeneracy of 
manners, and in reforming, from time to time, fuch 
minifters as might be found deviating from the ex- 
prefs injunctions of the law *. This iyftem bears fo 
near a refemblance to the office of an apqftle, as con- 
ftituted by our Saviour, that it is natural to think, 
the one might be copied from the other. I am 
perfuaded, it's refemblance to the office of a primitive 
bifhop will be no lefs obvious to you. 

To others (as for inftance to the feventy Difciples) 
Chrift, at their firft institution, affigned particular 
precincls and limits : but, his commiflion to the 
Apoftles was bounded only by the boundaries of the 
world. Go ye, (faid he to them, juft before his afcen- 
fion,) go ye into ALL THE WORLD; ami preach tie 
gofpel to every creature : as the Father lath fent me, 
evenfo fend I you. When a certain end is enjoined, 
it is always to be underftood, that the means neceflary 
for the attainment of that end are alfo enjoined. 
This text, therefore, warranted the Apoftles to con- 
ceive, that they were authorifed and empowered not 

* " Quos etiam ipfe legare confucverat ad componendos optimos 
" facerdotum mores, ipfas fynagogas infpiciendas, pravos rrores cor- 
" rigendos, &c." Baronii Annales, A. 32. 5. 



only, themfelves, to order and rule the flock of 
Chrift ; but alfo to ordain and conftitute fitch co- 
adjutors and fucceflbrs, as they fhould find neceffary 
to perform the feveral offices in his Church, until his 
fecond coming. They conceived themfelves, in par- 
ticular, authorifed to inftitute and ordain two diftinct 
orders of minifters ; the one fubordinate to the other, 
juft as the Difciples were fubordinate to them. They 
underftood that the import of their commiffion was 
as if Chrift had faid : As I received power from my 
Father to inftitute minifters of divers orders for the 
government of my Church, fo do I give it you. 
Whatever, therefore, the Apoftles did in the appoint- 
ment of minifters, they did after the example, and 
by the authority, of Chrift. Confequently, the im- 
parity of minifters by them ordained was founded on 
the law of God, and the original inftitution of our 
Saviour ; who gave them the power of ordination as 
they have given it to their fucceflbrs for ever. 

When Chrift firft inftituted apoftles, tfie condition 
was, that the perfon fo to be conftituted fhould be 
immediately called by Chrifl himfelf ; and have Seen 
an eye-witnefs of the things which it became his 
duty afterwards to preach and publifh concerning 
Chrift. Thefe requiiites an apoftle had, in common 
with a difciple : but, in the extent of his commiffion, 
and the eminence of his authority, he was fuperior to 
a difciple. In the circumftance 'of being entrufted 
with a part of the facred miniftry, difciples were 
equal to bifhops ; yet certainly not equal in authority 



and fupremacy *. And as, in naming and fixing the 
number of apoftles, our Saviour law fit to conform 
to a fimilar fyftem eftablifhed among the Jews, he 
appears to have done the fame in the number of his 
chofen and ordained difciples. He appointed foventy, 
becaufe juft that number (as appears from Num- 
bers f ,) were appointed to govern the tribes of 

And now the Apoftles having thus been em- 
powered by Chrift to preach his gofpel over all the 
world to every creature) tie was parted from them, and 
carried up to heaven : firft commanding them to tarry 
in the city of Jerusalem, until they were endued with 
power from onhigh. When he had fpoken thefe things, 
while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received 
him out of their fight. On this the Apoftles, obedient 
to his mandate, went to Jerufalem : and there the 
firft public ac~l they performed was to fill up their 
own number, by furrogating one of the Difciples into 
the place of Judas ; whofe office or bi/Jjopric, it had 
long ago been foretold, another was to take ^. Mat- 

* " Luca teftante duodecim fuifle Apoftolos, & feptuagintaDif- 

cipulos mmoris gradus." Sand. Jerom. Trad*, ad Fabfolam. 

. qui_/mWoab Apoftolis^/Ww." Sana. Ambrof. 

.... " vTTo&rfpoi wav TUV SuStxa,"' Theophylad. in Luc. 10. 

" Etiam feptuaginta Difcipuli, quosfecundo ab Apoftohs 

loco Dominus dcfignavit." Calvin, in Inftitut. 1. 4. c. 3. 4. 

f Ch. xi. ver. 16. 

J " In numero feptuaginta videtur euna ordinem fecutum cfle, cui 
< jam olim afluevcrat populus." Calvin, in Harmon. Evangel. 

See Pfalm cix. ver. 8. and A<5ts ch. i, ver. 20. 



iaSj heretofore one of the feventy, was now nwn+ 
bered ivilh the eleven Afoftles* And now it farther 
plcafed God to make good his promife, and they were 
all miraculouflyjftfe/ with the Holy Ghoft. Every one, 
whether appftle or difciple, no doubt, had fuch a 
gift, and fuch a portion, as his particular office and 
deftination required. Unto one was given by the 
Spirit the word of wifdom ; to another, the word of 
knowledge ; and to another > the gift of healing, ly the 
fame Spirit ; to another, the working of miracles ; to 
another, prophecy ; to another, difcerning of f fir its ; to 
another , divers tongues ; to another, the interpretation 
of tongues. They all had their feveral gifts ; but the 
Apoftles had them all. Whatever, for the advance- 
ment of God's glory, was divided among all the red, 
was all concentred in the perfon of each apoftle ; 
all of them thus becoming as fuperior in gifts and 
graces as they had before been in rank and ftation. 
Out of the hundred and twenty then ailembled to- 
gether, fome were made evangelifts, fome prophets, 
and feme paftors, prelbyters, and teachers : but the 
Apoftles flili retained their fuperiority ; and ordered 
and directed them all in their refpeclive miffions and 
duties. Timothy and Titus, who were evangelifts, 
were deputed by Paul, as the exigencies of the Church 
required, fir ft from Afia to Greece, then back to Afia, 
and thence to Italy. Crefcens was fent to Galatia, 
Titus to Dalmatia, and Tychicus to Ephefus : Eraftus 
was ordered to abide at Corinth ; and Luke miniftered 
with the apoftle Paul at Rome. There are fo many 



particular directions refpecling the various ufe of the 
various talents of the teachers of the gofpel in the 
xivth chapter of the ift epiftle to the Corinthians, that 
we might almoft call it the firft (as it certainly is the 
bcft) epifcopal charge that ever was delivered. St. 
Paul did what (no doubt) all his fucceftbrs aim to do 
in fuch charges. He pointed out the errors, and cor- 
reeled the abufes, which had crept into the eftablidi- 
ment. Thofe who had \hzgiffofprophecy, and thofe 
who had the gift of tongues, were exhorted no longer 
to interfere with, and confufe, one another, without at 
all profiting their hearers ; but fo to ufe their various 
talents, that by each the Church might be edified. 

There is no little difficulty and obfcurity in tracing 
the hiftory of St. John, the laft furvivor of tleghrtous 
company of the A^ojiles. Eufebius, from Orlgen, 
doubtful of other allegations, concludes this only to 
be certain, that at laft he went down into Alia, and 
there preached the gofpel ; planting many churches, 
and alfo founding fundry bifhoprics, He founded, 
partly, if not entirely, all the feven churches, to which 
he wrote his Revelations, excepting that of Ephefus. 
And as to Ephefus, though he came too late to plant 
he was not too late to water it. This church, being 
much weakened by the forceries of Apollonius 
Tyanaeus, and alfo by the herefics of Ebion and Cerin- 
thus, was in great want of an authoritative inter- 
ference. And St. John interfered fo effectually, 
that Ignatius, his co-temporary, joins him with Paul 
and Timothy as the co-founder of that church. 



Whilft he was in the midft of his courfe, he was, in 
the year 92, fent prifbner to Rome, and from thence 
to Patmos ; and there confined till the death of Do- 
mitian in the year 99 : during which time he wrote 
The Revelations. At the requefl of thefe feven 
churches alfo it is moft probable he wrote the Gofpel 
which bears his name. 

To counteract the poifonous doclrines of thofejfc^ 
teachers, who had crept in among thefe churches ; 
and whofe influence was fo great, that many had be- 
gun to ftagger in their faith, he addrefTes his Apoca- 
lypfe to tie feven churches which are in Afia. The 
errors and defections were general : it was proper, 
therefore, that the correction of them fhould be ge- 
neral. But, when he comes to particulars, to give 
every one of them it's own fpecific charge, on the 
authority of him tie great Shepherd and Bi/Jj op of our 
Jouhy who walketi* in the midft of tie golden candle- 
Jticks, he addrefies himfelf only to the angels. Now 
thefe angels (a term which, in its primary import, 
correfponds with apoftles) according to the concur- 

* " This is an expreffion taken from the office of the priefts in 
ct drefling the lamps, which were to be kept always burning before 
** the Lord. I conceive, therefore, walling here may be defigned 
*' to fignify not only a care to obferve and know the true flate of 
* ( the churches ; but moreover to affift and promote their improve- 
*' ment in religion ; or to afiift the churches in their proper cha- 
" i after as confecrated to the fervice of God, that they may mine 
'* as lights in the world, in the midft of a crooked and perverfc 
' generation." Lowman on the Revelations of St, John. 



ring teftimony of many efteemed authors, both ancient 
and modern, were the bifhops of thofe feveral churches. 
And this is fo clear and certain, that the names of 
thefe refpeclive bifhops have been afcertained. 

To thefe angels, or bifhops, perfons regularly in- 
vefted with fimilar power and authority regularly 
fucceeded. And it is not impoffible but that, by a 
tliligent fearch, their fucceflbrs might all be traced : 
fincc the church of Laodicea, which was in mofi 
danger of lofing it's candleftick, had a conflant and 
continual fucceffion of bifhops, to the Council of Nice, 
and a long time after. In the Nicene Council we 
find the feveral angels, or bifhops of thefe feven 
churches, among other bifhops of the times, fubfcribing 
their names to the acts of the council. 

That fuch was the original inftitution of epifcopacy 
is unqueftionable : and it is no lefs certain, that the 
power then given to the perfons firfl inverted with 
the epifcopal character, was intended to be, and was 
made, perpetual. This is implied in St. Paul's folemn 
charge to Timothy, the bifhop of Ephefus ; made 
bifhop, according to the early fathers, by Paul him- 
felf. / charge thee, in the fight of God, and before Jefus 
Chrlft, that thou keep this commandment without fpot y 
unrebulable, until tie appearing of our Lord Jefus Chr'ift. 
Now, it was impoffible that Timothy fhould live till 
Chrift's fecond coming. This the Apoflleknew; 
and therefore the charge and power here given to 
Timothy, and which were perfectly epifcopal, could 
not be perfonal only ; but fuch as he and his fuc- 


ceiTors might enjoy until the coming of our Lord Jefus 
Cbrift ; that is, in other words, as long as the world 

Even the name of bifhops is primitive and apofto- 
lical ; being given to the perfons inveiled with the 
office, by an Apoftle. In a paflage, which particu- 
larly mentions them**, our tranflators have rendered 
the word overfeers-\ agreeably to it's literal import. 
If, fometirnes, in the Scriptures, we find the word 
applied to an ordinary prejbyter, it is at fuch times 
and in fuch places only when, there being no bifhops 
properly fo called eflablifhed over them, fuch prefby- 
ters had the chief governance of fome flock, or body 
of Chriftians, under the Apoftles. The figriiiication 

* A&s xx. 28. 

f It may not, perhaps, be thought incurious to obfervc on this 
term 'Eflrw-jwiro?, in this paflage, that, in the German, Danifh, and 
Swedifh verfions, it is rendered by a word which in their refpective 
languages correfponds exactly with our word lifhop : in the Dutch 
only it is opfienJers, a term that is, no lefs exaftly, the overfeers of 
owr tranflation. 

The officers of the Athenians fent to look into the government of 
their cities, were alfo called bifljops : en ^Wler/totfo* >c; (pt,'\tjes 
A5vIo. Suidas, fub voce. Plutarch calls Numa, 'ETT'UTKOVOV, the 
^ or guardian, of the Veftal virgins ; and their god Terminus, 
xat $v\y.-A.i <piXs KX.I ES^WJ;, the overfeer, bifiiop, or pre- 
ferver, of peace and amity. Other Greek writers ufe it in the fame 
fenfe ; as do alfo fome Latin authors ; as " Vult me epifcopum eife," 
&C. Cicero ad Atticum, 1. 7. 

" Gnecum enim eft, atque inde duftum, vocabulum ; quod illc 
qui prseficitur, eis quibus prasficitur, fuperintcncKt" St. Auguft. 
De Civitate Dei, 1, 19. c. 19. 



of the word prefbyter is very general. Every bifhop 
was a prefbyter, though every prefbyter was not a 

Had we an opportunity carefully to go through a 
feries of the ecclefiaftical hiftory of the firft century, 
the refill t would be, that we fhould find that apoftles 
were firft appointed by our Saviour, and fucceeded 
by bifhops, to whom the government of the Church 
was committed *. James was bifhop of Jerufalem ; 
Peter, of Antioch, and afterwards of Rome ; St. 
Mark, of Alexandria ; Timothy, of Ephefus ; Titus, 
of Crete ; Archippus, of the Coloffians ; Epaphro- 
ditus, of the Philippians ; Polycarp, of Smyrna; and 
St. John, of Ephefus, where he died in a good old 
age. At his death, he left the Church not only firmly 
grounded in the true faith, but alfo well fettled in it's 
outward government, polity, and adminiftration ; 
framed by the Apoftles, after the example and pattern 
of their Lord and Mafter. For fince the Church was 
born of feed immortal, and the Apoftles, though men 
moft excellent and divine, were ftill but mortal, it 
was of effential moment to her interefts, that fhe 
fhould alfo be fecure of a perpetuity (or, if I may fo 
fpeak, of an immortality) of overfeers. Inftrudled as 
the Apoftles were by Chrift and the Holy Ghoft in 
the faith which they were direcled to preach, they 

* " Habemus annumerare eos, qui ab Apoftolis inftituti funt epif- 

' copi in ecclefiis, & fucceffores eorum ufque ad nos." Iren. 

lib. in. cap, 3, 

K were 


were no lefs in {trucked in that form of government 
\vhich they were ordered to inftitu'te. Had this not 
been the cafe, it can hardly be imagined that they 
ever could fo unanimoufly have concurred in the 
felf-fame form and model : and had the Church not 
been a fcyort of God's own planting, it is fcarcely 
credible that, under fo many inaufpicious circum- 
ftances, he would have blefled it with a growth almoft 

If it were in my power, it does not feem neceflary 
on this occafion, to go more minutely through the 
early hittory of epifcopacy, and to afcertain the fee or 
feat of every individual bifhop. The whole current 
of antiquity runs fo clearly and fo ftrongly in favour 
of epifcopacy being the firft, the apoftolical, the di- 
vinely-fettled form of church government, that who- 
foever has the rafhnefs to attempt to difturb or trouble 
the ftream, mull needs corrupt the fountain. As 
apoftles, thofe made fuch by our Saviour had no fuc- 
ceffors : but as bifhops, the tables of fucccffion are 
as clear, as diftinct, and as authentic, as are thofe of 
the Roman emperors, or Britifh kings. Bifhops fuc- 
cceded the Apoftles ; their name only, and not their 
office, being changed : the chief difference was, that 
the commiffion to the Apoftles was unlimited, whereas 
bifhops prefided only in particular diflricls. 

No one who is a believer in revelation has ever 
pretended to deny that the Apoftles preached the go- 
fpel and performed the other parts of the apoftolical 
office under the fanclion of divine authority. All 



that can poffibly be difputed is, whether fuch autho- 
rity died with them, or whether Chrift gave them 
power to ordain others fucceffively to the end of time 
to the fame office. If they had not fuch power, it 
will follow, that all fucceeding Orders of men in the 
Church have been merely of human inftitution, and 
fo have ruled in their own kingdom, and not in that of 
Jefus Chrift ; for there can be no juft and regular 
power in any fociety, which is not derived from the 
perfon or perfons who prefide over that fociety. Our 
argument is, that the Apoftles were empowered to 
perform the offices, among other reafons, exprefsly 
and chiefly that they might empower others. To 
fuppofe that this was not the cafe, is to fuppofe that 
the nature of Chrift's kingdom here upon earth, with 
refpecl to it's external polity or government, is necef- 
farily fo unftable, and fo continually liable to altera- 
tions, that, inftead of an inftitution of order, and fuch 
an one as, in the prophetical ftyle, has been called 
the perfection of beauty, it would appear, of all the 
known conftitutions in the world, the leaft recon- 
cileable with the character of a wife legiflator. 

We, who are epifcopalians, afTume the certainty of 
an uninterrupted fucceffion as a point already proved : 
we aflTert it as a faft, that the Order of bifhops is de- 
rived in a continual fucceffion from Chrift : and it is 
incumbent on thofe, who are difpofed to difpute this 
fa 61, to fhew when and on what occafion this fuccef- 
fion was ever broken. For, though in cafes of mere 
argumentation; it is a common maxim, that the proof 

K a lies 


lies upon him who affirms ; yet, in a point of fact 
where the party attacked is in pofleffion of that to 
which he alledges he has a jnft right and title, the 
party who oppofes his title is to (hew in what re- 
fpecls and on what account it is deficient. But we are 
not contented merely to aflert as a facl, that we have 
an uninterrupted fucceffion : it has been proved again 
and again, to the filencing at lealt, if not to the fatisfac- 
tion, of our adverfarics ; and we infifl that the nature 
of Chrift's kingdom requires that the fucceffion of 
of his minifters, in things pertaining to God, could 
not confidently have been otherwife. For if the 
fucceffion (of which he is the head and fountain) be 
once broken, by what authority could it have been 
renewed, or again conveyed to us, without fome fpe- 
cial and immediate interpofition of its Founder ? 

The function of bifhops is not only apoftolical, but 
it alone is apoftolical. That it is the bed form of 
government for the Church, may be inferred from it's 
having not only the warrant of Scripture for it's firft 
inftitution,but alfo the conftant practice of the Church 
for it's continuance from the age of the Apoftles to 
this day. As fir on g, however, as the authority is on 
which this declaration is founded, God forbid that I 
fl.iould take upon me to aflert, that the falvation of 
Chriftian people depends entirely on the lawful call- 
ing of their minillers ! but it is fo far my duty to re- 
mind you, that it much imports us all to confider, 
how far any of the ordinances or even facraments of 
religion can be duly adminiftered without a valid 



miniftry, and efpecially in times and places where it 
is not utterly impoffible to obtain a valid miniftry. 
The twenty-third Article of our Church fays no more 
than the Scriptures will warrant, and fair argument 
may defend, aiierts that " it is not lawful for 
" any man to take upon him the office of public 
" preaching, or miniftering the facraments in the 
" congregation, before he be lawfully called and fent 
" to execute the fame. And thofe we ought to judge 
" lawfully called and fent, which be chofen and 
" called to this work by men which have public 
(f authority given unto them in the congregation, 
" to call and fend minifters into the Lord's vine- 
" yard." 

I now, at length, come to the particular objections 
of the protefters, and their immediate . advocates. 
And as it has been objected to me that in my former 
difcourfe I did not give them all the confederation 
to which they were thought to be entitled, every 
argument that appears to be at all relevant, or of any 
weight, fhall now certainly be attended to with all 
becoming refpect. 

Firft, then, it is objected, that the propofed epif- 
copate will include a jurifdidtion over other colonies, 
To this it is anfwered, that, if it does, it will only be 
becaufe the Clergy of other colonies have defired to 
be fo included. And it ftiould be remembered, that 
in no colony will it include any but the Clergy of the 
Church of England. Neverthelefs, if either the 

K 3 Clergy 


Clergy of other colonies, or the King, (hall fee fit, it 
may include only this colony. 

The next objection is, that an epifcopate is con- 
trary to the natural rights and fundamental laws of 
the colonies. We call upon our opponents to fpe- 
cify the inilances or cafes in which an epifcopate can 
or will infringe on any rights or laws whatever, natu- 
ral or chartered. This, we arc confident, it is not in 
their power to do; but, till it is done, we can only re- 
ply in general, that it is a malicious fufpicion, utterly 
void of all probability. A flat denial is not, we truft, 
an improper reply to an unproved aflertion. After 
aflerting then, again, that this furmife is totally un- 
founded, and indeed impoffible to be true, we mult 
beg leave once more to repeat, that all we aim at is 
an epifcopate purely primitive ; with jurifdidion only 
over the Clergy, and not clogged with civil power of 
any kind. And as we have been led to think that 
this will be more agreeable to the Laity of all the co^ 
lonies, fo we hope it will be more ferviceable to re-> 

A third obje&ion is, that it is an attempt to with- 
draw ourfelves from our ancient jurifdidtton in eccle- 
iiaftical matters. If it be, it is only to place ourfelves 
under one that is more ancient, more conilitutional, 
and better adapted to our fituation : which yet we 
fhall not do without the confent and entire appro- 
bation of that jurifdiclion which the objectors are 
pleafed to call ancient^ 



This anfwer, as it is direel, we cnnnot but think a 
fufficicnt one. But, that we may not pafs unnoticed 
even the fhadow of an argument, let us for a moment 
enquire what this aneient jurifdiclion has been. 
George the Firft granted a commiffion, which was 
renewed by George the Second, to the bifhop of 
London, to put the Clergy of the Church of England 
in America under the jurifdiclion of the faid bifhop. 
Till then they had been annexed to no particular 
diocefe. This commiffion empowered the bifhop, 
either in his own perfon, or by his commiflaries, to 
vifit the Clergy, to call them before him, to hear wit- 
nefies againft them, and to inflict various degrees of 
ecclcfiaftical cenfures upon them, fuch as fufpenfion, 
removal, and excommunication. It not only confers 
thofe powers for governing the Clergy, but reftrains 
the bifhop from concerning himfelf with any other 
perfons whatever: and it claims to the king the power 
of doing all this, by virtue of his being head of the 
church in America. In confequence of this, the 
bifhop's commifiary here has held courts in this do*- 
minion, which coniiited of himfelf and four clergy- 
men, agreeably to the conftitutions of the Church of 
England. From this court there was an appeal to 
his rnajefty's privy-council in England ; and that alfb 
accorded with the eftablifhed modes of proceeding in 
our civil courts. Now, this being the flate of our 
ancient jurifdiflion, it is evident, on a comparifon of it 
with the propofed epifcopatc, that the king is not 
now defired to grant more than in fact his royal 
K 4 grandfather 


grandfather and great-grandfather have heretofore 
granted. For, where is the difference between grant- 
ing certain powers to the bifhop of London, and 
granting the fame powers to an American bifhop ; 
excepting that, in granting them to the latter, they 
will be granted to the perfon beft able to cany them 
into execution, as acting in his own perfon, and not 
through the mediation of commiftaries, who will then 
become unneceflary ? As far as I know, it has never 
been faid, or even fufpe61ed, that the bifhop of Lon- 
don, or any of his commiflaries, have exceeded their 
commiffion : and yet (I mention it with fhame and 
concern) there have been governors fo little acquaint- 
ed either with their intereft or their duty, as to en- 
courage the people to difcountenance and difcredit 

The lay part of the community can have no good 
motives for wifhing the government of the Clergy, in 
fpiritual and ecclefiaftical matters, in lay hands. And 
it is unnatural to fuppofe, that Clergymen in general 
fhould differ fo totally from their fellow-citizens as 
not to be anxious, in cafe of fpiritual offences, to be 
tried by fpiritual men : becaufe none but fpiritual 
perfons are their peers. Such a government alone is 
uniform and confiftent with the mod ancient and 
the only ecclefiaftical cftablifhinent for governing 
the Clergy, as Clergymen, that ever yet took place in 
Virginia. The bifhop of London had no jurifdiclion 
here till it was given him by the commiffion above- 
inentioned : and as it has not been renewed fmce the 



death of bifhop Gibfon, the bifhop of London no lon- 
ger has any jarifdiclion in America ; and if he has 
not, it will hardly be thought that any other bifhop 
has. There is, then, at prefent, no jurifdiclian over 
the Clergy of Virginia, as Clergymen. The queftion 
in debate, therefore, comes to this : Is it decent, is it 
fit, that Clergymen alone fhould be without a head, 
and under no constitutional controul ? I might al- 
moft venture to leave it to our opponents themfelves 
to anfwcr this queftion. Even anti-epifcopalians can 
neither be fo ignorant, nor fo unreafonable, as to fay 
it is either decent or proper that fo confiderable a 
body of men, of fome weight in the community, 
fhould remain without guide, overfeer, or ruler. We 
entreat, then, to be permitted, uncenfured and un- 
oppofed, to prefer a government inftituted in quiet 
times under fuch kings as the two fir ft Georges, and 
to think it a better pattern and precedent in this junc- 
ture than comrniflions granted in unfettled times 
and on extraordinary occafions ; or than a novel 
fcheme, which is to be introduced now, in times pe- 
culiarly loofe and diforderly. 

Another objection is, that the propofed epiicopate 
is an attack upon religious liberty. Of all the ground- 
lets fufpicions which have been fo intemperately in- 
dulged againft this meafure, this is the laft of which 
it's friends could ever have thought. The oppofition 
to it is, in their eflimation, the only real attack upon 
religious liberty now exifting in the Britim dominions. 
The advocates for it are fully perfuaded, that epif- 



copacy is an apoftolical inflitution : and I would fain 
flatter myfelf, that even the unmethodical arguments 
ftiggefted to you in it's behalf in thefe two difcourfes 
may induce you to think the caufe is fuch an one as 
called for our zeal, and that therefore the Clergy did 
not engage in it without reafon. We are not to learn 
that the defenders of Calvin iflical eftablifhments main- 
tain the other fide of the quefiion. Now, as neither 
they, nor we, acknowledge any infallible judge of con- 
troverfy, we neither of us have any right to determine 
the point for the other. Religious liberty does not con- 
iift in fettling nice and difficult points ; fuch as, too 
probably, in the prefent imperfect ftatc of religious 
knowledge, never will be fettled to the entire fatisfac- 
tion of all parties. Religious liberty, as far as it con- 
cerns the prefent queflion, confifts in this, that they 
who maintain bifhops to be of apoflolical inftitution 
fhould have their bifhops, and that they who maintain 
the fame of prefbyters fhould have their prefbyteries. 
But if any diflenters will be fo unrcafonable (I add,, 
fo intolerant) as to call the excrcife of our right an 
infringement on theirs ; if they will maintain that 
we cannot be allowed the reafonable enjoyments of 
liberty, without fubje6ling others to unreafonable 
reftraints, we may (and fhall) indeed lament their 
want of wifdom, of candour, and of charity ; but we 
fhall at the fame time feel this plealing conviclion, 

that we never have nor ever fhall dcnv that Chriflian 

freedom to others which we now claim for ourfelves. 
Having done all we can to convince them, that 



iiough we arc benefited, they cannot be injured 
unlefs our good be their evil * ; all that remains for 
us now is fteadily and quietly to go on, and do our 
own duty, without heeding their interruption any 
otherwife than by endeavouring to remove their 
>rcjudices, and praying to God to give them a better 

All that has been, or will be, folicited by us, is a 
primitive bifhop; a bifhop without power of any kind, 
excepting in what relates to the Clergy. Shew us 
any fcheme of church government in the world fo 
moderate. There is no more connexion between 
cpifcopacy and tyranny, than there is between inde- 
pendency or any other popular fcheme of religion 
and liberty. Tyranny of all kinds, whether civil or 
religious, fprings not fo much from the office, as it 
does from the man in office : and for that reafbn, 
the favourers of epifcopacy, confidering that their 
bifhops muft be men, have been at no common pains 
to have them guarded as much as poffible againft 
even poffible abufes; and againfl being fufpedlcd only 
of tyranny in the exercife of their office. 

The remaining objections are fo mifcellaneous and 
vague, have fo little folidity and fo much declamation, 
are fo well calculated to inflame, and fo ill calculated 
to inform and convince, and (to fay all in few words) 

# " Mali, cum injuriam facere non finuntur, injuriam fe acciperc 
exiilimant." Grotius in Matt. viii. 29. 



are fo entirely framed in the fpirit and ftyle of modern 
popular oratory, that I feel myfelf at a lofs how, in a 
ferious difcourfe, to notice them with propriety. 

Among many other equally random furmifes, one 
is, that the Clergy aim, by an epifcopate, to detach 
themfelves from the reft of the community. Never was 
a conjecture hazarded with lefs femblance of proba- 
bility. Who knows fo little as not to know that, if 
the fuperintending government, for which we now 
petition, fhould be granted, we fhould, in civil mat- 
ters, be ftill as amenable ns we now are to civil jii- 
rifdiction ? We defire a regular, a conftitutional, 
an ecclefiaftical eitablifhment over us, not becaufe 
we think ourfelves lefs punifhable, but because 
we know we ought to be more within the reach of 
the Jaw than the reft of the community. And, if 
miftake not, this is conformable to the principle of 
the penal ftatute againft vice and blafphemy, paffecl 
in the 4th year of queen Anne ; and in which is this 
claufe : " Provided always, that nothing herein con- 
;t tained fhall be conftrued to exempt 'any Clergyman 
^ within this colony, who fhall be guilty of any of the 
" crimes herein before mentioned, from fuch further 
< f punifhment as might have been inflicled on him 
( - for the fame before the making of this a6t, any thing 
" herein contained to the contrary notwithftand- 
" ing." In fhort, fo far from aiming to detach ourfelves 
from the reft of the community, in thefenfe intended 
by the objectors, we delire not only to. remain under 



tbe jurifdiction of the laws of the land in our civil 
capacity ; but, befides this, to be under the jurifdic- 
tion of an ecclefiaflical court as clergymen. 

As though the objections hitherto mentioned were 
not fufficiently futile, we have yet to add, that it has 
alfo been fometimes alledged that fufficient fecurity is 
not offered for the continuance of the rights of the 
people, civil and -religious, if the cpifcopate takes 
place. In no other inltance, I believe, was fuch a 
fecurity againft contingencies, which are improbable, 
if not impoffible, ever provided. More than we have 
already done, and ftill propofe to do, to quiet even 
thefe unreafonable fears, feems hardly poffible. I can 
hardly expecl you to believe that I am in earned, 
when I recite to you, in the very words of the pe- 
tition of the Clergy, the only kind of bifhop that has 
ever been defired, which, however, is the only ground 
we have given for all thefe alarming apprehenfions : 
*' Bifhops in America are to have no other authority, 
" but fuch as is of a purely fpiritual and ecclefiaftical 
" nature ; fuch as is derived from the Church, and 
" not from the State ; which is to operate only upon 
" the Clergy of the Church, and not on the 
" Laity. They are not to interfere with the pro- 
" perty or privilege, whether civil or religious, of 
" Churchmen and DifTenters ; are only to exercife 
" the original duties of their office, i. e. to ordain, 
" to govern the clergy, and to adminifter confir- 
" mation." 

American bifhops then, you fee, are to be of the 



fuffragan kind ; without peerages, without power, 
without preferment. All fuch appendages to the 
epifcopal character are out of the queilion : neither 
the conftitution nor the circumftances of the Church 
in America will admit of them. But even were it 
othcrwife, why all this alarm and outcry ? In 
England, prelatical power has never been objected 
to, except by thofe who meant to deitroy it ; and 
even fuch perfons wifhed it deitroy ed, only becaufe 
it was thought to fland in the way of their ultimate 
purpofe to deftroy the State. On the Reftoration, 
the prudent flatefmen of that day, (who, in addition 
to all the information that may be derived from 
theory, which we poflefs, had the farther advantage 
of a recent pcrfonal experience,) judged it to be their 
\vifdom and their duty, along with monarchy, to re- 
flore epifcopacy. And they flill think of it fo differ- 
ently from the prefent leading people of the colonies, 
that many of the moft judicious friends of the Confti- 
tution have thought, and continue to think, fo modeft 
an hierarchy is a great ornament and advantage to 
England. One of the moft learned men that either 
England or any other country ever produced, afcribed 
the fuperiority of the Divines of the Church of England 
over all others in point of learning (a fuperiority that 
has been very generally acknowledged) entirely to 
this circumftance : " It is this part of our eftablifh- 
" m'ent (he fays) which makes our Clergy excel thofe 
" of other parts of the world. Do but once level our 
" preferments, and we fhall foon be as level in our 
4 " learn- 


c * learning *." Inftcad, then, of confidcring great 
church preferments as fcare-crows and bugbears, (as 
we are here taught to do by our too officious brethren 
who are not within the pale of our Church,) we 
fhould ac~b wifely in founding and endowing them 
merely as an encouragement to learning. In this 
country they could not but have the happieft effecls: 
and if they were to operate as an inducement to perfons 
of fome condition to breed their younger fons occa- 
fionally to the Church, I am fure they would no le(s 
benefit the Community at large than the Church itfelf. 
And here let me not be thought either felfim or vain 
if (as the opportunity has offered) I take the liberty 
to fuggelt that the efforts of the prefent American 
Clergy (who are not, in general, natives of America) 
to promote a meafure which is likely to bring more 
natives into the Church, muft be allowed to be cre- 
ditable to their difintereftcdnefs and their candour. 

I wifh that the proteflers, and their friends, for their 
own fakes, as well as for the fake of the country, had 
fuffered their fecond thoughts to have reftrained them 
from giving way to that idlefl of all idle fears, that 
the arrival of a bifhop may kindle fuch a flame as 
may poflibly put a period to the Britifh empire in 
America f . The bare poffibility of fuch an event is 


* Dr. Bentley in his Phileleutherus Lipfienfis. 
j- Exprefilons of this kind, though ufed only, as it feemed at the 
t:me, merely as rhetorical flourifhes, were far too common among- 



an aweful consideration. But, in the name of com- 
mon fenfe, how or why fhould this be the cafe? 
Why fhould all America be thrown into fuch a it ate 
of alarm, merely to oppofe a man, who is neither 
defired nor expected to come with any other powers 
than fuch as have long been exercifed by commhTa- 
ries, and have been experienced to be perfectly 
harmlefs : who comes with authority to punifh none 
but Clergymen, at whofe deiire he comes ; nor any 
Clergymen but fuch as a competent number of their 
own brethren fhall have adjudged to deferve punifh- 
ment ? How much more is meant, or may be af- 
fcicled, by this infinuation, than is obvious on the 
face of it, is bell known to thofe who firft threw it 
out. But, I hope, for the honour of America, it 
will require more firebrands to kindle fuch a flame, 
than even the adverfaries of epifcopacy (numerous 
and inveterate as they are, and few and languid as 
are it's friends *) can furnifh. 


public men in America. Every law which they did not like, was 
called iinconjlltiitlonal, opprefflve, tyrannical; the people (it was faid) 
were treated as jlawes ; liberty was defrayed, and the government at 
an end. It was thus that the people were gradually trained to re- 
gard their governors as defpots, and even laws as mere arbitrary 
decrees. And now that the effe& of fuch licentious ufe of lan- 
guage is fo clearly feen, it is fair to infer, that thefe were deliberate 
madmen^ who thus, with malice aforethought, caft around them 
Jire-lrandsj arrows , and death. 

* Lord Clarendon mentions it as an obfervation (I think) of 



And now, after all this long and wearifome oppo- 
fition, begun without reafon, and carried on without 
charity ; after fo many fair and full anfwers to every 
objection which feemed to have any weight in it ; 
may we not (at length) have leave to hope, that the 
controverfy will be clofed forever ? May we not 
flatter ourfelves that we (hall be permitted to pur- 
fue our own concerns at leaft without moleftation, 
if it be too much to promife ourfelves that they who 
pafs by will bid us Godfpeed. We are not afhamed 
to confefs that we are fick of the controverfy, (not, 
as we are bold to avow, from it's having been in any 
reipecl difreputable to us, but) becaufe we fee with 
forrow that it is to be determined, not by it's own 
merits, but by the fuppofed merits or demerits of 
thofe who oppofe or patronize it. 

If the requeft were not hopelefs, from it's being of 
the nature of party to be deaf and blind to every 
purpofe which does not coincide with it's own views, 
we would yet entreat that this queftion at leaft might 
no longer be made a party queftion ; becaufe, in it- 
felf, it certainly has no concern with party; or, if it 
had, the perfons by whom alone it is fupported are 
the leaft of all others party- men. Trufting entirely 
to the merits of our caufe, we have hitherto neither 
fought nor found any party fupport ; of which con- 
Lord Falkland's, that, in his time, "thofe who hated bifhops, 
" hated them worfe than the devil ; whilft thofe who loved them, 
t( did not love them fo well as their dinners.*' 

L duel 


duel the worft that can be laid is that it is a want or 
policy. It is far from being a folitary inftance, in 
which a good meafure, fupportcd by good men, has 
been loft, merely becaufe the policy of fupporting it 
by party- means was either difapproved of or ne- 
glected. But what a reflection is this on the juftice 
and the candour of thofe by whom the world is con- 
tented to be led ! If, however, thefe men of warm 
fpirits, of whom chiefly our parties are compofed., 
mortified or offended by our neither foliciting their 
patronage nor promoting their views, refufe to liften 
to our requeft, which, in our eftimation, is as rea- 
fonable as it is earneft, our fate is determined : the 
leading parties in America will continue to mifun- 
derftand, mifreprefent, vilify and thwart both the 
meafure and it's advocates; and Government at home, 
by a moft impolitic and dangerous timidity, will con- 
tinue to yield to their feditious clamour what they 
refufe to our loyal reafon. 

Difcouraging, however, as appearances are, it may 
yet pleafe God, by ways and means qf his own, to 
brighten our profpects, and to bring a meafure in- 
tended to promote his glory and the good of his 
creatures to an happy ifTue. Let us hope, then, that * 
" by the mercy of God, and the continuance of our 
" labours, our efforts may be brought unto fuch a 
" conclufion, as that we may have great hope the 
, tf Church of England fhall reap great fruit thereby. 

* See the excellent Epiftle Dedicatory by the Tranflators of the 
Bible to Janres the Firft. 



* f And let us alfo hope, that though things of this 
" quality have ever been fiibje6l to the cenfures of 
" ill-meaning and difcontented perfons, they may 
fc receive approbation and patronage from the learn- 
" ed and judicious. And the allowance and accept- 
" ance of our labours by fuch perfons (hould more 
" honour and encourage us, than all the calumni- 
" ations and hard interpretations of other men fhould 
" difmay us. So that if we ihall be traduced, be- 
" caufe we are poor inftruments to make God's holy 
" truth to be yet more and more known unto the 
" people ; or fliall be maligned by felf-conceited 
" brethren, who run their own ways, and give liking 
" unto nothing but what is framed by themfelves, 
" and hammered on their anvil ; we may reft fecure, 
" fupported within by the truth and innocency of a 
" good confcience, having walked the ways of fim- 
" plicity and integrity before the Lord ; and fuftained 
\ without by the powerful protection of all unbiafled 
and unprejudiced men, who will ever give coun- 
tenance to honeft and Chriftian endeavours againft 
bitter cenfures and uncharitable imputations.'' 


IT is very probable that this ample difcuffion of the 
arguments for and againft a queftion now become 
.obfolete and nearly forgotten, may, to many readers, 

L 2 appear 


appear dry and tedious. As, however, the fubjed: 
was certainly connected with and had an influence 
on the great events which foon after took place in the 
country where it was moil agitated, it could not well 
be omitted in a feries of fermons (or, as perhaps I 
might now with more propriety call them, a collec- 
tion of tracts) intended to illuftrate the principles and 
the hiflory of the American revolution. 

When it is confidered who and what the writers 
have been who have yet attempted the hiftory of that 
extraordinary event, it will no longer appear furpri2- 
ing that no notice has been taken of this controversy. 
It exhibits the temper, the principles, and the fpirit 
of the prevailing party, in fuch a point of view, as 
(however their advocates may ftill fecretly approve of) 
it is no part of their policy now to bring forward. 

Perlbns who were refident in America, and careful 
obfervers of what was paffing, may recollect, that jufl 
before the late rupture this difpute made no incon- 
fiderable part of the hiftory of the times. It was not 
thought beneath the notice of the author of theCon- 
feffional, archbifhop Seeker, and other eminent writers 
in England : in the northern provinces of America, it 
had long been keenly controverted : and about, the 
time that this fermon was delivered, it was agitated 
in the news-papers of Virginia and Maryland, with 
hardly lefs exertion of talents than had juft before 
been called forth by the Stamp-act. Of this contro- 
verfy this fermon may be confidered as a kind of epi- 
tome : and though written by an epifcopalian, I am 



not confcious that any injuftice is done either to the 
anti-epifcopalians, or to their arguments. 

It is fair to mention, that many wife and good men, 
friends both to Church and State, thought at the time 
that the opponents of epifcopacy became of confe- 
quence, chiefly through the attention paid to them 
by it's friends. But the event has fhewn that the 
oppofitions of men of fuch principles (whatever be 
their nature or profefled object) are never unmeaning 
nor infignificant. 

For we (hall form a very inadequate and imperfect 
idea of that fyftem of oppoiition, which has been im- 
perceptibly fuffered fo to attach and fatten itfelf to 
our Conflitution as almoft to have become a part of 
it, ( yet furely no otherwife a part of it than as 
that congeries of fhell-fifh called barnacles, which, 
adhering to the bottom of a fhip, always impede and 
retard her courfe, and at length deftroy her, can be 
called a part of the (hip,) if we judge of it from any 
or from all the particular points againft which their 
oppofition is directed. It by no means follows that 
epifcopacy was thus oppofed from it's having been 
thought by thefe trans-Atlantic oppofitioniils as in 
any refpect in itfelf proper to be oppofed : but it 
ferved to keep the public mind in a (late of ferment 
and effervefcence ; to make them jealous and fufpi- 
cious of all meafures not brought forward by dema- 
gogues ; and, above all, to train and habituate the 
people to oppofition. And thus, in all oppofitions, 
it is, comparatively fpeaking, of but little moment 

L 3 whether 


whether thofe who conduct them fail or fucceed in 
the particular points, for which, one after another, 
they fo earneftly contend ; their end is anfwered, and 
their point gained, by the embarraflrnents thus occa- 
lioned to the executive power, and by the agitation 
excited in the public mind. This is one among many 
unanfvverable objections to a fyftematic oppoiltion ; 
fince, as long as this fyftem continues, it is impoffible 
the nation fhould ever long enjoy any fettled repofe 
or tranquillity. .-. 

That the American oppofition to epifcopacy was 
at all connected with that ftill more ferious one fo 
foon afterwards fet up againft civil government, was 
not indeed generally apparent at the time : but it is 
now indifputable, as it alfo is that the former con* 
tributed not a little to render the latter fuccefsful. 
As therefore this controverfy was clearly one great 
caufe that led to the revolution, the view of it here 
given, it is hoped, will not be deemed wholly unin- 
terefting. Even this account, however, will be in- 
complete till the reader is alfo informed how it ter- 

The anti-epifcopalians carried their point with an 
high hand, which is no otherwife to be accounted 
for than that the party, in perfect union with their 
fellow-labourers in the Britifh parliament, were in 
the habit of oppofing every meafure that feemed 
likely to ftrengthen the hands of government ; and 
that then, and ever after, whatever was oppofed be- 
came popular. 



That the object which in this inftance was oppofed, 
was either in itfelf really dangerous, or intended to 
be fo, to the colonies in general, or to Virginia and 
Maryland in particular, will not now be pretended 
by any one. Hardly was their independence gained 
before an epifcopate was applied for and obtained ; 
an epifcopate in every point of view as obnoxious as 
that which the fame men, who were now it's chief 
promoters, and who were alfo the mod forward injhe 
revolution, had juft before fo violently refifted.l The 
fact is curious ; for it Ihews that, in oppofing epif- 
copacy, the leading men of thofe times oppofed what 
they have fince feen and acknowledged was for the 
intercfl of their country. And it fhould have fome 
weight with the prefent inhabitants of America, 
when they reflect that the fame men, who then, like 
good fubjects, were honeft and bold enough to warn 
their fellow-fubjects of their error and their danger 
refpecting the Church, obferved the fame line of 
conduct afterwards refpecting the State. It is fair to 
infer from their fubfequent conduct, that both they, 
and the great body of the people of America, are now 
convinced, that the perfons who in 1771 were vili- 
fied and perfecuted for wifhing to introduce an epif- 
copate, were not the enemies of America. May we 
not then be permitted to hope, that the time is not 
diftant when the fame judgment (hall be entertained 
of the fame men and their conduct rcfpecting the 
revolution ? 

L 4 DIS- 




DEUTERONOMY, ch. vi. ver. 6, 7. 

And the words which I command thee this dayjhall le in 
time heart. And thou Jh alt teach them diligently unto 
thy children, and Jb alt talk of them when thou Jitt eft in 
thine houfe, and when thou walkeft by the way, and 
when thou Heft down, and when thou rifejl up. 

-/"XT one of the late meetings held for the purpofe 
of confolidating the three free-fchools of the three 
contiguous counties, (of which this is the central one,) 

* This fermon (as South fays of one of his) was " penned and 
prepared " to have been preached in the Church of Portobacco in 
Charles County, Maryland, in 1773, on th 6 occafion ftated in the 
introdu&ory paragraph. But, owing to fome embarraffments in 
Government, (which even then were fuch as to excite very ferious 
apprehenfions,) the Governor, and thofe Members of the Council 
and Lower Houfe of Afiembly, by whofe defire it was prepared, 
could not attend. Of courfe the meeting was put off, and the fcheme 
came to nothing. 



many ideas were fuggefted, and fome proportions 
brought forward, on the fubject of education. Tempt- 
ed by the opportunity, I could not forbear mention- 
ing fevgraj defects in modern education, for which the 
whole Chriftian world are in fome degree cenfur- 
able, but which feem to prevail moil in thefe mid- 
dle colonies of this great continent. Anxious that 
the fchool now to be enlarged and new- model led 
fhould be formed on as good a plan as our circum- 
ftances will admit of, I was defired to digeft and ftate 
in this public manner the obfervations which were 
then haftily made. The fincere refpect which I bear 
for the perfons who made this requeft, left me no 
alternative ; and therefore I am now about to comply 
with it, with alacrity at leaft, if not with ability, I 
am aware that there are among my hearers many in- 
telligent perfons, who are practical examples that 
even modern education is ibmetimes eminently fuc- 
cefsful. This is a circumftance which cannot but 
infpirc me with diffidence : at the fame time, how- 
ever, it gives me this encouragement, the confolation 
I mean, of knowing that if any principles which I 
may now recommend be (which God forbid they 
fhould be !) un found, or any conclufions I may draw 
either weak, falfe, or impracticable, the public (if 
they receive no benefit from my inveftigations) can 
neither be corrupted nor mifled by them. Any errors 
into which I may fall, will be eafily detected by many 
of the able and candid judges before whom I now 
have the honour to fpeak. By comparing their own 



reflections on the fubjecl: with mine, I hope even 
they may be enabled to form a fomewhat more cor- 
rect judgment of it ; and as many of them are allb 
members of different branches of our Legiflature, 
they will have an opportunity of carrying their ma- 
tured opinions into practice, not only in the fchool 
now to be inflituted in this neighbourhood, but per- 
haps on a much more extenfive fcale in the province 
at large. 

In the whole compafs of human enquiries, I hardly 
know a more beaten track than this of education. In 
all civilized countries, and in all ages, it has engaged 
the attention and employed the pens of perfons the 
mod diftinguifhed for wifdom and goodnefs. Yet 
(notwithflanding all this attention and all this in- 
ftruclion) it is by no means certain that mankind are 
greatly improved in this important particular ; even, 
now, when we boaft that we live in an enlightened 
age, education engages our attention chiefly in our 
books. I The ancients, if their experience of human 
nature was more limited, and confequently their 
flock of knowledge more confined, were very fupe- 
rior to the moderns, in this, that they certainly 
made a better ufe of what they did know^jl Treatifes 
on education do not appear to have been then writ- 
ten, as it really would feem they now are, merely to 
amufe, or to be admired for their ingenuity. The 
philofopher ftuclied and wrote profefTedly for the 
State : and, in this point of view, Xenophon was as 
much a legiflator as Lycurgus : for, the prevailing 




idea of thofe times was, that education was rather a 
practical than a fpeculative fubject ; that it confided 
more of duties than of doctrines; and, in fhort, that 
it was an apprenticefhip to the bufinefs of life. 
Among the moderns, the archbifhop of Cambray, 
propofing to himfelf Xenophon as his model, feems 
to have written his book with fimilar views. But 
it is melancholy to reflect, how very little this pleaf- 
ing and mod interelling book has contributed to 
the inftruclion of mankind in general; for even the 
enthufiaftic admirers of Fenelon think it fufficient 
praife of Telemachus to regard it as an ingenious 
and claffical romance. Not much more fortunate 
have been an eminent poet, and a no lefs eminent 
philofopher, of our mother country. Who that reads 
at all has not read Milton's " Tractate on Edu- 
cation ;" and alfo Locke's : and who having read 
them, does not fpeak of them in terms of the higheft 
commendation ? Yet, how little has either the one or 
the other contributed to improve the national iyftem 

of education * ! 


* It is by no means intended here to reprobate all fpeculative 
writings even on the fubjeft of Education. All that the writer 
laments or blames, is, that fpeculative writings on thefe fubje&s, 
which are fo rarely of a kind capable of being carried into practice, 
are fo much attended to as to difcourage any attempts to write 
really practical treatifes. That even fucli writers, however, with 
much that is exceptionable, fometimes furnifh matter even for prac- 
tical ufes, might be proved from RoufTeau, the moft fpeculative 
and fanciful of all writers. \Vith aUhis faults, as a moralift and a 
politician, he rendered very confiderable fervice to France and the 



Education, like every other art, is but a certain 
means to attain a certain end : this end is, that 
mankind may be good and happy ; and whatever 
contributes to render them fo, might, with great pro- 
priety, be regarded as education. School -learning, 
which we are too apt to confider as the fole purpofe 
of education, is but one of the means; and of great 
moment only as it contributes to the main end. 
Whatever qualifies any perfon to fill with propriety 
the rank and flation in life that may fall to his lot, is 
education^ Thus confidered, I fee no impropriety in 
our faying of an artifan, or a planter, who perfectly 
underftands the art he profeffes, that he has been well 
educated *. It is in this more general and enlarged 


neighbouring kingdoms, by expofing, in his Emile, the many ill 
effe&s of confining the limbs and bodies of infants in fwaddling 
cloaths. It has, ever fmce the publication of that book, been very 
generally laid afide ; and the good effects of it's discontinuance are 
vifible, in the much fmaller number of children who are rickety 
and deformed, than was the cafe forty or fifty years ago. 

* " Learning is a thing that hath been much cried up and coveted 
" in all ages, efpecially in this lad century of years, by people of 
" all forts, though never fo mean and mechanical. Every man 
" ftrains his fortunes to keep his children at fchool : the cobler will 
" clout it till midnight, the porter will carry burdens till his back 
" crack again, the plowman will pinch both back and belly, to give 
" his fon learning ; and I find that this ambition reigns no where fo 
" much as in this ifland. But, under favour, this word Learning is 
** taken in a narrower fenfe among us than among other nations : 
" we feem to reflrain it only to the book, whereas indeed any arti- 
" fans whatever (if they know the fecrct and myftery of their trade) 

' may 


ienfe that I now propofe to confider the fubjecl : and 
Ib, inftead of confining myfelf to the ways and means 
of railing good fcholars, I fhall endeavour to point 
out to you the more important duty of raifing good 
citizens and fubjects*. 

Exertion, application, and induftry, are primary 
duties, which God requires of his creature, man. It 
is, therefore, one of the Unking difpenfations of his 
providence, that, though every thing, as it came out 
of his hands at the creation, is (as he hirnfelf declared 
it was) good, yet is it left to be made (if I may fo fpeak) 
more good, by human means ; that is to fay, it is left 
capable of being brought to ftill greater perfection, 
by the fkill, the diligence, and the exertions of men. 
A diamond in the mine, it is true, is indeed a dia- 
mond, even before it ispolifhed ; but it acquires luftre 

" may be called learned men. A good mafon, a good flioemaker 
" that can manage St. Crifpin's lance handfomely, a fkilful yeoman, 
" a good fhipwright, &c. may be all called learned men ; and in- 
" deed the ufcfulleft fort of learned men. For, without the two 
" firft, we might go barefoot, and lie abroad as beails, having no 
" other canopy than the wild air : and without the two laft, we 
" might flarve for bread, have no commerce with other nations, or 
" ever be able to tread upon a Continent. Thefe, with fuch other 
"like dexterous artifans, may be 'termed learned men, and more 
" behooveful for the fubfiitence of a country, than thofe polymathifts 
" that ftand poring all day in a corner upon a moth-eaten author, 

" and converfe only with dead men." Howel's Familiar Letters, 

Book the 3d, Letter the 8th. 

* . . t " TTS 97FV$ ws /SsAriro* ta-owro 

Xenophon. Cyropaed. lib. 8. y 


and value only by being removed from (what may be 
called) it's ftate of nature : nor, in it's native ore, 
is gold of more value than iron. In the vegetable 
world, and in animals of every kind, the cafe is the 
fame. Without culture, even the grain of which 
bread is compofed, and the moft delicious fruits, 
would be hardly eatable : animals alfo, in a ftate of 
nature, are uniformly wild ; and, whilft wild, ufelefs. 
Man too is horn like a wild afss colt ; and brings 
with him into the world little more than a capacity 
for inftruclion. Uneducated, he is a Caffre, a Peter 
the wild boy, a New Zealander : a little (and perhaps 
but a little) fuperior to an Ouran-Outang. But, of all 
the productions of nature, or of art, there is nothing of 
Jo much worth as a mind well inftrufted. Man is juft 
what education makes him. Were there no educa- 
tion, there would be no knowledge ; and if no know- 
ledge, no virtue : darknefs would cover the earth, and 
grofs darknefs the people. 

" The boys among the Perfians," fays the Grecian 
philofophcr above quoted, in his Cyropaedia, " go to 
" fchools, and continue there, learning juftice : and 
" they fay, that they go as much far the purpofe of 
u learning this, as boys with us go to learn literature." 
This Perfian pra&ice comes up very nearly to the 
idea, which I have formed in my own mind, of a pro- 
per and perfect fyflem of national education. For, 
what is here called juftice, is not to be underilood in 
the narrow and confined fenfe in which we ufe the 
3 word : 


word :{Tt comprehends every thing that is necefTary 
to the forming a good man, and a good citizen, j 

There is a paflage in Eccleliafticus *, where the 
argument turns very much on the fubject now 
under confideration, which feems to have in view the 
kind of education I now wifh to recommend to you. 
He that teacheth hisfon, grieved the enemy. It is not 
poffible to exprefs, in Wronger language, of what im- 
portance it is to a State that good principles (hould 
be inftilled into it's youthf . The writer adds: and 
though Ms father die, yet he is as though he were not 
dead. To the State, it means, a father of a well- 
inftrucled fon, even when he is dead, does not die: 
for, his good principles defcending to his fon, the State 
ftill pofTeffes a good fubjecl ; and thus, even in an 
apparent lofs of the State, the enemies of that State 
find no caufe of triumph \. 

In no civilized country has education ever been 
wholly neglected ; nor in any (I fear it may too truly 
be added) advanced to any fuch a pitch of complete- 

* Chap. xxx. ver. 3, 4, 5. 

t " QH^ en i m numus reipublicae afferre majus meliufve pofiumus, 

' quam fi docemus atque erudimus juventutem? His praefertim 

" temporibus atque moribus, quibus ita prolapfa eft." Cicero 

de Ditin. lib. 2. 

J " Gratum eft, quod patriae civem populoque dedifti, 
" Si facis, ut patriae fit idoneus, utilis agris, 
Utilis & bellorum & pacis rebus agendis. 
" Plurimum enim intererit quibus artibus & quibus hunc tu 
' Moribus inftituas." ' 

Juv. Sat. xiv. L 70. 



nefs and perfection, as that it may fafely be felected 
and recommended as a model. Juft fo, in every 
treatife or lyftem of education, there probably may be 
found fomething ufeful and valuable : yet, where is 
there one that is, in all refpects, what a confiderate 
man would wim it to be ? The beft of any with which 
I am acquainted is to be met with in the Bible. 

In propofing to you, on the fubject of education, 
the Jewifh polity, as the beft model for your imitation, 
I am but little difcouraged by the reflection, that a 
writer * of no common note has, in various places of 
his various writings, fpoken of it as " eminently bar- 
barous and abfurd." The hiftorical talents of this 
popular author, fo much better calculated to pleafe 
than to profit, are well appreciated by the hiftorian f 
of the Jews in the character he gives of the Greeks 5 
who alfo were celebrated for fiction %. If this were 
a place to go into a full comparifon, and to draw a 
parallel between the legiflator of the Jews and any 
other legiflator, there could be no difficulty in prov- 
ing how manifeftly the advantage is on the fide of 

It is not pretended, that there is any where in the 
Scriptures any fet or formal treatife on the fubject of 
education : that is not the way in which doctrines are 

* Voltaire. 

Jofeph. contra Apion, lib, i. 12. 
Grascia mendax." Juv. 



there ufually taught. Information and inftru6Uon 
on the fubject are to be collected from various paf- 
fages, and chiefly from the laws and the hiitory of 
God's chofen people : and I confider the fuperiority 
of this Scripture fyftern, over all others, as arifing, in 
no ordinary degree, from it's unequalled fimplicity. 
Inftead of various purpofes purfued, as among us, by 
various plans ; and, not feldom, a variety of things 
that are fiudied and learned with no purpofe or plan 
at all, the Jews had but one end in view ; for the at- 
tainment of which, the means were equally fimple 
and uniform. Permanent fecurity in the land of Ca- 
naan was the end ; and the means, obedience to God* 
In one particular only, a Jewifli education feems to 
have borne fome refemblance to that of the Egyptians, 
the ancient Greeks, and the Perfians : gymnaftic 
exercifes were a part of it. Yet there is no evidence, 
at leaft in the earlier periods of their hiftory, that they 
had any fchools or colleges. The fchools of the pro- 
phets are fuppofed to have begun about the time of 
Samuel ; and were appropriated to the tuition (if not 
wholly, yet in a great meafure) of prophets only. 
One reafon for their having no fchools might be the 
conftant employment in which the cultivation of their 
lands engaged them, and in which their children 
were required to affift. This left them no fuch lei- 
fure as young people in other countries now find for 
a regular attendance on ftudy, in places fet apart for 
the purpofe. It is obfcrvablc, that the word, in the 
Greek language, from which our wordfchoot is derived, 

M literally 


literally fignifies letfure: and in Latin, a fchoolmaftet 
is one who regulates play. What I would infer from 
this is, that pupils in Greece and in Rome reforted to 
(chobls only by way of amufement and relaxation : 
and as Suidas gives the former of thefe terms as bar- 
barous, the Greeks might have adopted it from the 
Jews, as well as from any other people*. With 
refpecl to the Jews, this apparent defect (the want of 
fchools) does not appear to have been attended with 
any very material difatlvantages. Admitting that 
they had neither fchoolm afters nor profeflbrs, ft ill it 
muft not be inferred that they were without public 
teachers. Thefe, in general, were the priefts and 
prophets of the Lord ; and their rulers. It was the 
ufual phrafe among the Jews to call their rulers 

* " Sunt etiam mtifis fua ludiera : miila camaenis 
" Oc'tA funt, mellite ncpos ! nee femper accrbi 
' Exercet pueros vox imperiofa magiftri. 
** Sed requie (a) ftudiique vices rata tempora fervant- 
*' Et fatis eft puero memori legiffe libenter : 
" Et ceflare licet. Graio fchola nomine dila eft 
** Jufta laboriferis tribuantur ut ocia mufis. 
c< Quo magis alternum certus fuecedere ludum, 
w Difce libens, longum delenitura laborem 

** Ihtervalla damns." 

Aufon. ad Nepotem Aufomum Pretrepticon de Studio 
Puerili, Eidyll. iv. Vide Aufen. ed. variorum, p. 309. 
I conceive it to be extremely probable, that fckool may have ori- 
ginally been from the Hebrew term fhw, fignifying to be quiet > eafy, 
fecure : though I readily confefs, there is no evidenee that the term 
was ever ufed by the Jews in any fenfe exactly analogous to a fchooL 

() Pro reqjaiei. 

tedders ;, 


teachers : thus Nicodemus is called both an A^wy 
and a A/SacntaA0-. The alliance indeed between a 
legiflator or governor, and an inftructor, is natural 
and proper : and with the moft perfect propriety it 
might be faid, that every ruler is, from the nature of 
his office, an inftructor. The law itfelf is, as an 
apoftle called it, our fchoolmafter * . 

The law of God was the great object of ftudy 
among the Jews ; and, with them, the law of God 
comprehended the law of the land. For this pur- 
pofe it was neceffary that they fliould be taught to 
read : and this, it is probable, they could all do ; be- 
caufe they were all commanded to read the law, and 
to meditate thereon night and day. But I do not 
recollect any pafiage which proves that (excepting 
thofe who at firft were called fcriles,) many of them 
were able to write. The Bible was the only book 
they read. And from this copious ilore-houfe they 
learned more than any other people could poflibly 
know of the hiftory of creation. They learned as 
much as they were materially concerned to know of 
their own origin and future deftination ; as they alfo 
did of the hiftories of the people with whom alone 
they had any intercourfe. This iingle book fur- 
nifhed them with a fyftem of civil law admirably 
adapted to their local circumftances and fituation ; 
a code of ethics at once practical and humane; and 
a form of worfhip, of which it is fufficient praife to 
% that it formed the portal of Chriftianity. It does 

* Gal. iii. 24. 

M 2 not 


not appear that they fludied any language but their 
own ; which, as a language, deferves the character 
that has been given to their government: it is equally 
diftinguifhed for it's dignity and it's limplicity ; and, if 
they did not read other languages, (tranilations being 
then hardly known,) it proves that they read none of 
the writings of any of the Gentile nations around 
them. From fnch writings they could have learned 
only the extravagant and abfurd fables of idolatry : 
and from thofe it was one leading defign of all their 
inftitutions to preferve them. 

Among the Jews alone, children were fuffered to 
hear and learn thofe documents only which tended 
to infpire them with the love and fear of the true 
God. Belides their hiftories, (of which alfo that was 
the ruling principle,) parables and allegories, and, 
above all, proverbs, or fhort aphorifms of wifdom, 
were invented. Such are the parables of Jotham and 
Nathan ; and the excellent book of Proverbs by king 
Solomon. Thefe compofitions, as well as their pfalms 
and hymns, were in mea fared numbers. And if it 
be true that that poetry is the moft excellent which 
conveys the fublimeft fentiments in the fublimeft 
language, the poetry of the Hebrews fcems to have 
an inconteitible claim to an unrivalled pre-eminence. 
With poetry mufic is naturally connecled : and if 
we may judge of the proficiency of the Jews in this 
pi earing art, from the effects produced by their per- 
formances in it, we cannot qucftion their title to be 
called tlefweet fivgers ofJfrael. Some one fays of 


them, that they were a nation of muficians : an afTer- 
tion for which there is a fufficient foundation in their 
hiftory, as contained in the Scriptures ; and of which 
the 1 3 7th Pfalm alone is almoft a direct proof. 

It has already been intimated, that though they 

had no public feminaries of learning for the in- 

ftruclion of the riling generation, yet were they by 

no means without public inftructors. Thefe, at firft, 

were patriarchs, then prophets ; then able men, beads 

over tie people, elders, and judges ; whofe office it was 

to turn the children into the ways of their fathers, and 

the difobedieht to the wifdom of thejuft *. To thefe 

fucceeded the fcribes, whofe profeflion it was to teach 

the law, which (as has before been obferved) was the 

only knowledge which even men of learning then 

cultivated. The higheft commendation that could 

be beftowed on Efdras was, that he was a pricft, a 

reader, and 'very ready in the law of Mofes. Ezra alfo 

is faid to have been a ready fcr'ibe in the law of Mofes j-. 

Nehemiah too brought the law before the congregation 

both of men and women, and all that could HEAR WITH 

UNDERSTANDING; and he READ therein from the 

morning until mid-day : and the ears of all the people 

were attentive unto the book of the law J. Kfcribe, 

then, appears to have been profeffionally a reader of 

the law, and an inftruclor of the people: a circum- 

ftance which 'Lews the extreme pertinency of that 

paflage in St. Luke, where our Saviour alked a lawyer, 

* Exod. xviii. 25. f Ezra viJ. 6. J Neh. vni. 2. 

M3 or 


Grfcribe What is written in THE LAW bow READ- 
EST thou ? 

Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob were all careful to 
train up their children in the fear of God, and a reli- 
gious obfervance of his laws : and Moles devoted the 
greateft part of his life to the fole purpofe of teaching, 
reproving, correcting, and exhorting the people com- 
mitted to his charge, to receive the inftruclions of 
\vifdom, andjuftice, and judgment ; in which Aaron 
end Jofhua were his willing fellow-labourers. 

At length, when, from an increafed population, and 
thofe changes which are naturally brought on in all 
countries by the change of times, fome new regula- 
tions were thought expedient, Samuel founded the 
fchools of the prophets. And in thefe a fucceffion of 
holy men was raifed, which did more than any fimi- 
lar inftitution in any other nation ever did, or could 
do, effectually to check ignorance, licentioufnefs, 
immorality, and idolatry. Secured by their whol- 
fome irjftrucHons, it was long before Judea became 
diftradted by a diverfity of opinion on civil topics ; 
or by thofe difputes and eontroverfles concerning 
religion, which have fo often been the fore-runners 
of the definition of other empires, They all fpake 
one language ; they all had one creed ; and were all 
unanimous in one common caufe, the preservation 
of their laws : nor were they divided into fects and 
parties, till long after the captivity. 

It was not left entirely to the difcretion of the peo- 
ple to attend, or not attend, to this inftru$ion. By 



law, every man was obliged to repair to the temple 
three times in the year, and a Jewifh fabbath ad- 
mitted of no abfentees. Their public inftruclions, 
it would feem, were given in general in the form of 
expofltions on the law. What the law required of 
them was firft taught : and after being thus (hewn 
from the law what it was that they ought to be, they 
were freely told what they actually were ; for, thole 
were not the times when priefts or prophets degraded 
themfelves, or their office, by flattering the people in 
their follies or their crimes. The earneftnefs of their 
inftrudtions was proportioned to their importance. 
Nothing was enjoined without this condition being 
annexed to the injunction, that if they obeyed it 
they fhould be fuccefsful : whilft the heavieft cala- 
mities were denounced againft difobedience. And 
more was neither prpmifed nor threatened than (as 
appears from their hiftory.) was actually perfprmed. 
What Azariab, the fon of Oded, faid to Jifa, and all 
Jiulah* and Benjamin, entered into the fpirit, if not 
into the letter, of every Jewifli ordinance and in- 
junction : The Lord is with you, while you be with 
him: and if ye feek him, he will he found of 'you ; but 
if ye forfake him, he will forfake you*. And hence 
that beautiful exhortation of Solomon's : My Jon, keep 
thy father s commandment, and forfake not the law of 
thy mother ; Vmd them continually upon thine heart, and 
tie them about thy neck. When thou goeft, itjhatt lead 

* 2 Chron. xv. 2. 

M4 thce; 


thee\ when thoujleepeft, itjhallkeep>thee\ and when 
thou awakeft, it Jhall talk with thee. For the com- 
mandment is a lamp, and the law is light: and reproof 
and mftruflwn are tie way of life *. 

The communicating of ihftruclion to the Jews 
was not attended with many of the difficulties which 
now impede it's progrefs : for, Jewifh Icflbns were 
feldom on abftrufe and abftracled fubjecls ; nor 
were the people, who were to be inftrticted, then 
bewildered and puzzled with a diffracting variety of 
topics. Nothing was inculcated that was not firft 
commanded by the law; fo that there was then but 
little danger of their youth being initiated in in- 
flniflion which caujeth to err. Their teachers fpake not 
in the words which mans wifdom taught, but what the 
Holy Ghqft taught : and the fum of their inilruclions 
was, to prepare the hearts of the people to feek the 
Jaw of the Lord, and to do it. The laws were not 
merely obligatory rules of action : they were proper 
and agreeable objedts of fludy and philofophic in- 
veliigation ; for they all of them furnifhed leflbns either 
of moral, political, or religious wifdom. So far are 
they from being founded in caprice, that even thofe 

* Prov. vi. 20, ZT, 22, 23.-r-rr-Sentiments exceedingly like thefe 
have often been admired and extolled in that line paflage fo often 
quoted from Cicero : 

" HaecJiudia adolefcentiam alunt, feneclutem obleftant, fecun- 
te das res ornant, -adverfis perfugitim ac folatium praebent, deleftant 
*' domi, non impediunt foris, pernoftant nobifcum, peregrinantur, 
* ruilicantur. >; Cic. Orat, pro Archia, 7, 

3 of 


of them which are merely ritual, are highly fignifi- 
cant ; and either convey fome moral leflbn, or are a 
commentary on fome of the articles of their religion. 
Thofe too which are typical deferve to be iludied, 
not only for their fecondary, remote, and concealed 
fenfe, but for that which is primary, immediate, and 
obvious. And the end and aim of the Jewifh code 
(whether we coniider it's general regulations, or it's 
minuter and more particular provifions) feems inva- 
riably to have been to fix lafting impreffions, on the 
minds of the people and their children, of the great 
importance of their keeping the way of tie Lord, and 
doing jujlice and judgment. 

To fhew that many of their laws, which to fuper- 
ficial readers may perhaps now feem minute and mean, 
if not alfo fometimes arbitrary or barbarous, had fome 
great political object in view, it may fuffice to men^ 
tion one inftance. More conftitutions have been 
overturned by inteftine divifions than by foreign wars. 
Againft thefe, therefore, the laws of the Jews provided 
with a degree of prudence and policy, which, if we 
may judge from it's effects, has rarely been equalled. 
The whole community was, by blood, one people. 
This ftrong tie of union was bound {till fafter by the 
tie of religion. Their faith and religious profelfion 
were uniform : they all had the fame minifters of re- 
ligion, and the fame temple ; and to this temple they 
were all obliged to come from every part of the coun- 
try. And innovations in religion were prevented by 
an abfolute prohibition of every thing belonging to 



ibe gods of 'the nations ; as innovations in manners al to 
were, by a fiinilar interdiction of all intercourfe with 
foreigners *. For this Mofes has been taxed with 
intolerance and barbarifm: an imputation which might 
with equal juftice have been objected to the law-giver 
of Sparta,, as well as to the great kingdom of China. 
now perhaps the older! in the world. 

Almoft every other legiilator has encouraged com- 
merce : but Mofes wifely faw, that however advan- 
tageous to ftates adapted to it, it was as unfuitable to 
Paleftine as it was to thofe divine ordinances which 
were intended to keep the people diftincl and feparate 
from other nations. Judea was not a maritime coun- 
try ; tut it was peculiarly favourable to agriculture, 
#nd it's inhabitants were remarkably intelligent huf- 
bandmen. And it is worthy of notice, that the 
great mafter of political wifdom among the ancients 
has declared, that thofe in general are the beft go- 
vernments, where the bulk of the people are employed 
in huibandry .and pafturage f . 

Among the Jews, an attachment to the land which 
fiod had given them, and an high reverence for their 
Jaws, were the ftrongeft features of national charac- 
ter. All their laws and inftitutions had a tendency 
to peace, and led them to expect happinefs chiefly 

* M . PI . " pQ-n culm mariatranfibant, neque exteros vifebant, &. ahj 
' his.nop vifebantur." - Cunxus de Repub. Hebr. lib. i. cap. 4. 

Ariftot. in I^ib. Polito 



from the arts of peace. This purpufe was fo much 
favoured by the nature of their country, that fome of 
their hiftorians have been of opinion that fuch a go- 
vernment could have exifted in no other *. Shut up 
between Libanus, the Euphrates, and Egypt, they 
were in a manner out of the reach of any ambitious 
neighbours ; and meditating no con quells, they ex- 
cited no jealoufies : neither had they dominions, or 
the reputation of riches of any fuch extent as that 
they could be a temptation to invaders. It was, 
however, by no means the leading object of their 
founder to attach men merely to the foil of Palef- 
tine : the true aim of every law that was enacted, and 
the prevailing purpofe of all the inflruclions that 
were given to them was, that they might not do after 
all the abominations which the neighbouring nations had 
done unto their gods. 

And no doubt the perfeverance of this people in 
the fame fyftem of religion and religious worfhip, (an 
event without a parallel in the hiftory of the world,) 
is to be accounted for only from their equally extra- 
ordinary obfervance of their religious rites and civil 
infHtutions. They have been in captivity ; they are 
difperfed all over the world, without one fpot in it 

* " Enimvero habuit Palaeftinum prae aliis regionibus eximium 
" quiddam, quod gentcm fandam atque rempublicam uni ifti Colo 
" affixit. Extra eas fedes fi quis populum ilium abduxiflet, & 
** iifdem legibus inftituiffet rempublicam eandem, non jam reipublicx 
** fua fan&imonia, non populo fua majeftaa iletifTet.*' Cunaeus 
de Repub. Hebr. lib. i. cap. 8. 



that they can call their own ; they are every where 
defpifed, every where opprefled ; and yet Itill they 
preferve their religion and their laws, and ftill are a 
people; and they fhall continue to be a people till 
all the prophecies concerning them be fulfilled : 
whilft other nations (even thofe reputed the wife ft 
and moft powerful) fhall continue to enrich them- 
felves by commerce, extend their dominions by con- 
queft, change, innovate reform, and (if I may ule 
the term) re- reform, and yet wax old as doth a vefture 9 
and, " like the bafelefs fabric of a vifion, diflblve, and 
" not leave a wreck behind." 

It is not to be concealed, however, that the Jews, 
even in the beft periods of their hiftory, were hardly 
more diftinguifhed for the excellence of their conftt- 
tution and their general attachment to it, than they 
alfb were for being often refractory and difobedient. 
This fpirit at laft grew to fuch a fettled and fyfte- 
matic fcheme of oppofition to their rulers, that at 
length it brought on the deftruclion of government, 
and their own expuliion from their country. This 
inconfiftency is to be accounted for only (as all wick- 
ednefs is accounted for) from the general depravity 
of human nature. For, though God certainly never 
dealt fo with any other nation as he dealt with them, 
ilill, with all their advantages, they were but men ; 
and all men are naturally wilful, Hubborn, and re- 
bellious. It fhould be remembered too, that, with 
many peculiar advantages, they laboured under fome 
di fad vantages. It always has been, and ftill is, the 



reproach of mankind perverfely to turn bleflings into 
eurfes. Hence, even the extraordinary favour fhewn 
to the Jews might, and no doubt did, lead them to 
think too highly of themfelves ; and fo they became 
felf-willed and impatient of controul. And owing 
to this degeneracy, they became an ealy prey, firft to 
their own ill-governed paffions, and then to their 
enemies, who had long lain in wait to take advantage 
of their errors. For he who hath no rule over his own 
J-pirit, is like a city broken down and without walls. 

But what people or what nation is there among us 
Ib without fin, as that we may judge the Jews cither 
for their guilt or their punifhment ? Have we fo little 
experienced in ourfelves the almoft irreiiftible power 
of ilrong paffions, and the blindnefs of inveterate 
prejudices, as that we fhall prefume to fay, we fhould 
have done better had we been in their circum fiances? 
I hope we fhould : mere moclefty however may re- 
ftrain us from the Pharifaical boaftfulnefs of thanking 
God that we are better, or our nation better, than 
thofe Hebrews were on whom the vengeance of the 
Romans fell. 

But it was perhaps as much the misfortune as the 
fault of the Jews, that at lad their country and their 
government yielded to powerful invaders. A flock 
of lambs might almoft as well be upbraided for not 
defending themfelves againft a troop of wolves, as the 
Jews be blamed for being conquered by the Romans. 
I am far from infmuating by this, that the Jews were 
deficient either in courage or Ikill, or even that they 



were without the ufual refources of war. But their 
military talents, as well as the principles of their reli- 
gion, and their laws, totally different from thofe of 
the Romans, were all fuch as qualified them to act 
rather on the defenfive than offenfive ; and in war, I 
believe, the advantage is always fuppofed to lie on 
the fide of the aggreffbr. 

On fome fuch important topics as have here been 
fuggefted, we may fuppofe the Jevvifh infh*u6lors to 
have frequently infifted. And however meanly we 
may now think of Jews when compared with either 
Greeks or Romans, it muft be allowed that if they 
were not fo diftinguifhed by their prowefs in war, 
they were, in the beft fenfe of the term, a more en- 
lightened, and of courfe a more happy, people. This 
enviable fuperiority they feem to me to have owed in 
no fmall degree to the fuperiority of their education, 
which was not, as in other nations, reftricted only to 
their earlier years. All that has juft been defcribed 
to yon, was the education of adults ; and perhaps it 
is not a little owing to our leaving off our attention 
to it fo entirely, juft at the period of life when it cer- 
tainly is mott wanted, and when alfo it would pro- 
bably have the beft effeft, that our education does not 
produce all the advantages, which, defective as it is, 
we might naturally expect from it. The fundamen- 
tal laws of our country, and the principles and duties 
of Chriftianity, are indeed occafionally explained, 
taught, and inculcated : but whilfl it is in the power 
of any one who pleafes to counteract and contradict 



thefe intimations, and io pervert and corrupt our 
catechumens, are we to be furprifed that even the moft 
eflential duties are not taught to better purpofe ? 

Let it however be well attended to, that, even in 
this admirable fyftem of the Jews, the public teachers 
only finifhed what the parents had happily begun. 
When parents had trained up their children in the 
-.vays they were to go, the charge devolved on the fa- 
thers of the whole family, whofe office it then became 
iofeed thofe their flocks ', likejbepberds\ taking the Jambs 
In their amis, and gathering them in their bofoms. 

No fooner were the children (to borrow the lan- 
guage of a prophet) weaned from the milk, and drawn 
from the Ireajl, than their parents began to teach them 
knowledge, and to enable them to underftand doffrint. 
Experience confirmed the utility of what the law had 
previoufly directed. And on this point the law was 
not " vague and uncertain :" the text is clear and 
ftrong, and particular even to minutenefs : parents 
were to teach their children, whilft they fate in the 
houfe, or walked by the way ; when they lay down, 
and when they fate up *. The fame circumftantial 
direction is repeated too again and again ; and the 
Pfalmift alludes to it in a beautiful paraphrafe f : The 
Lo'rd hdih eftablijhed a tefiimony in Jacob, and appointed 
a law in Ifracl, which he commanded our forefathers to 
nuke known unto their children \ that the generation to 

* Deut. ch. iv. ver. io. and Deut. chap xi. ver. 19, 
} Pf. Ixxviiu ver, 4, 5, 6. 



come might know them, even the children thatjhould be 
born, who Jhould arife and declare to their children the 
fraifes of the Lord, and his Jlrength, and his wonder* 
ful works that he hath done. The word in the text, 
which our tranflators have very properly rendered 
teach, literally fignifies in the original, to whet ; a 
metaphorical term, which, as applied to teaching, is 
ftrictly and eminently proper. The text thus be- 
comes, both in phrafeology and fentiment, not unlike 
to one in St. Peter *, where the Apoftle fays, he thinks 
it meet \Qflir up his converts, by putting them in re- 

On the authority of the text, and fbme other fimi- 
lar paflages, we are led to infer, that parental inftruc- 
tion was not in general communicated fo much by 
leclures or leflbns, as by occafional converfation, 
\vhilft the parents and children were at work together 
in the field, or on a journey, or in the focial mo- 
ments of domeftic converfe ; at the ri/ing of the fun, 
and going down thereof -f*. 

But, fince the digrefllon (if it be one) naturally 
arifes from the fubjecl, and indeed belongs to it, let 


* 2 Pet. ch. i. ver. 13. 

f " In Hindoftan, the youth are taught, not within doors, but in 
< f the open air; and it is a very fingular, but not unpleafing, fpe&acle, 
*' to behold in every village a venerable old man, reclined on a ter- 
" raced plain, teaching a number of furrounding boys, who regard 
*' him with the utmoft reverence and attention, like a fhepherd feed- 
" ing his flock. In thofe fimple feminaries, where the want of mag- 
" nificent halls and theatres is divinely compenfated by the fpacious 

" canopy 



us for a moment try to fancy and to defcribe in what 
manner a Jewifh fire probably communicated his in- 
tfruclions. Imagine then to yourfelves fo venerable 
a JhltoJUtotg in Us boufe, with his infant charge around 
him. Taught by the law, induced by the cuftoms of 
his country, and prompted by natural affection, in- 
ftead of the uninterefling (and fometimes perhaps 
improper) converfations which elfewhere engrofs thofe 
moments which to a good man are the happieft of 
any he paffes, a Jewifh father would be led to gra- 
tify the natural inquifitivenefs of his rifing family, by 
explaining to them the origin, the defign, and the 
authority of all their feafls, rites, and inftitutions. 
Every public feftival (like a parable or an allegory) 
carried with it it's own peculiar moral or inftrudlion ; 
and was celebrated for the exprefs purpofe that it 
might be not only a memorial to the prefent gene- 
Fation, but as it were a living monument to all po 
terity, of the mercies which it was inflituted to com- 
memorate. And it was exprefsly enjoined, that the 
celebration of every feaft, as well as of the paflbver, 
fhould be introduced with this preface : c< Thou /halt 
Jbew thy fon in that day, faying, This is done lecaufe of 

" canopy of heaven, the gentle and traftable fons of the Hindoos 
" are not only prepared for the bufmefs, but inftrufted in the du- 
" ties of life, a profound veneration for the obje& of religious wor- 
" (hip, reverence of their parents, refpeft for their feniors, juftice 
" and humanity towards all men ; but a particular affedh'on for 
" thofc of their own caft." Memoirs of the War in Afia,Vol. ii. 
Appendix, p. 228. 

N tfa* 


that which tie Lord did unto its. Aware bow mucli 
more eaiily as well as effectually that kind of inftruc- 
tion, which it was his object to impart, is communi- 
cated through the medium and with the aid of fen- 
fible and even vifible imagery, imagine you fee him 
binding round their arms or their foreheads phylac- 
teries or frontlets, on which were written * four paf- 
fagcs of the Law, commemorative of fuch interefiing 
:parts of their hiftory as were bed calculated to imprefs 
them with ideas of the goodnefs of God ; that, look- 
ing on thefe, they might remember tie commandments of 
God, and do them. Imagine him dwelling on this en- 
dearing topic, the infinite mercies of God, and re- 
counting them in the enraptured {trains of the 136111 
pfalm ; which pfalm, if it was not originally compofed 
for one of thefe paternal leclures, is undoubtedly well 
adapted to fuch an occafion. Imagine farther, that 
you hear fuch a father, with all the dignity of autho- 
rity, and the earneftnefs of conviction, firfl finging 
(as was then the general mode of worfhip) the firll 
llanza or portion of each verfe or verficle alone, in the 
manner of recitative ; and his little congregation, 
trained by example as well as by precept to catch 
fome portion of his piety and his ardour, joining in 
refponfive chorus, for Us mercy endureth for ever ! 
We know that fome of the pfalms were actually fung 
in fome fuch manner : and I own I cannot figure 

* See Exod.xiii. from ver. a to 10. Deut. vi. from ver. 4 to 9. 
Deut. xi. from ver. 13 to 21. And Deut. xiii. from ver. u to 16. 

5 t0 


te myfelf a way by which the two great purpofes of 
hiftorical inllruclion and national devotion could be 
more happily promoted, than by fucb a fcheme of 
family worfhip. 

Next, fuppofe him in the fame little happy circle, 
walking ly the way. Catching his ideas from the ob~ 
jecls and the imagery around him, (which moil pro>< 
bably were in general rural,) he would naturally di- 
reel his difcourfe to thofe topics. If he faw valU*? 
(as in that country he often \NQ\\\&)Jlanduigfo thick 
with corn that they laughed and fang for joy, him* 
felf and his children might raife a choral fong of 
praife to God, who crowned the year with his goodnefe, 
Struck with the aftonifhing fertility of the foil of Pa : 
Icrline, and reminded by their phylac~lerie$ of the paf-* 
fagcs of Scripture in which that happy circumftance 
was celebrated, their hearts would be taught to glojv 
with gratitude, that the lines bad fallen unto them in 
pleafunt places, even "in a land flowing with milk an& 
honey, a land of hills and val/ies, that dr4nk(vcry dif- 
ferent from Egypt !) water of the rain of heaven ; ^ 
land which the Lord their God cared fotj and upon 
which the eyes of the Lord were jhcd from ifa beginning 
of the year even unto the end of the year. Nor could he 
well help pointing out to them it's fuperiority over 
that land of Egypt whence they came out ; whqre (by a 
difficult and troublefome husbandry) jheyfowed their 
land, and watered it with their feet vs a garden of 

At the lying down, or rifing up of this our fuppofed 
N 2 Jewifh 


Jevvidi fire, the inexhauftible goodnefs of God, wbf> 

gave tie fun to ride by day, and the moon and ftars to 

rule by night, would flill be the unvarying theme of 

every morning and evening hymn. Beginning at the 

creation, when the light was called day, and the dark- 

nejs nighty we may imagine him to have traced their 

own hiflory in regular fucceflion down to that night 

when the Lord pafled through Egypt, that night of the 

Lord, which, for that reafon, was for ever to be much 

obferved of Ifrael ; and dovyn to that day when he 

fmote the firft-born of Egypt, unto the day when they 

departed out of Egypt, while God \i\mfe\fiuent before 

them to lead them the w&y, by day in a pillar of cloud, 

and by night in a pillar of fire. It is hardly poffible to 

imagine an evening fbng more appofite to their 

circumftances, more inftruclive, or more pleating. 

And after fuch an evening facrifice, they could not 

but lie down, and rife up, gratefully acknowledging 

how true it was (at lead in their own cafe) that day 

unto day uttereth fpeech 3 and night unto night Jbewetb 


From this imperfect fketch or outline (which, 
though confefledly imaginary, is not unfupported 
by authority) of the fyftem of the Jews, I cannot but 
think myfelf juftified in inferring from it, that there 
is not in all the hiftory of the world another inflance 
of another nation fo truly great, and that hadjtatutes 
and judgments fo righteous : and I farther infer, that 
this their greatnefs was owing, under God, in a great 
meafure to this circumflance, that their education 



was fo perfectly well adapted to their government. 
By calling the Jevvifh nation & great nation, I by no 
means intend to fpeak of them as of a nation diftin- 
guifhed only by it's eminence in arts and Iciences ; 
by an extended and lucrative commerce ; and Hill 
lefs, a nation famed only for military glory and bound- 
kfs empire. The only criterion of a good govern- 
ment, in my eftimation, is, that the people living un- 
der it enjoy peace and quietnefs ; and a well-govern- 
ed and virtuous nation is the only truly great nation. 
Let the chara^er of the Jews be eftimated by this de- 
fiqition, and it muft be owned, that, (as was long ago 
faid of them,) the ancient inhabitants of Paleftinc 
were indeed a wife and undemanding people. 

Permit me now, by way of application, a little to 
confider the ftate of education among ourfelves : that, 
by comparing ours with that of the Jews and other 
nations, we may better fee in what points our praclice 
is right, and in what wrong ; and fo, either perfift in, 
or alter it, as the cafe may be found to require. 

In many refpe<5h thefe countries and their inha- 
bitants bear a very near refemblance to Judea and 
the Jews, We dwell in a good land, a land of brooks 
ff 'water, of fountaim and depths that fpring out of 
rallies and hills : a land of wheat and barley, and vines, 
and Jig-trees, and pomegranates ; a land of oil, olive, and 
froney : a land, wherein we eat bread without fear cenefs^ 
and lack not any thing in it ; a land, whofe fanes are 
iron., and oitt of whofe hills we may dig brafs. In our 

N 3 manners, 


manners, rhoreover, and habits of life, we are not un- 
like to Jewifh houjhbldcrs ; for they (like thofe of 
our inhabitants who are planters) were ufed to lay up 
in th'eir ftores^ once or twice in a year, things new' 
and old, fuch as might atifwer the exigencies of the 
whole year. They lived alfo much, as our phrafe 
is> within themfelves : "tMt is to fay, they depended 
lefs on markets, and exchanging, bartering, or buy- 
ing and felling, with one another, than they did on 
their own refources,: for the fuppJy of their domeifc 
wants. Their religion was the bafis of ours: and 
We are ftilt under the dominion of the law ; -refined 
indeed, and fpiritualized, and completed by the grace 
and truth -of Him who cavie 'not to deftroy the law. 
Neither is the conftitution of our government, nor 
the adminiftration of it, (at leaft in this province; 
for the abfurdky of the New-Englanders, who in- 
corporated into their body of laws fome of the rituals 
of the Levitical law, is beneath our notice,) materially 
different from that of the JeWS. Theirs indeed was 
a theocracy, which ours is not, in any other fenfc 
than as all government is the ordinance of God. 
Like us, the Jews alfo had a governor, 'who, as the 
vicegerent of God, ruled by the law of the land; and, 
if he was a good governor, ruled them prudently with 
all his might. And that he might not, in the words- 
of their hiftorian, bear the burden of the people alone, 
the moft eminent perfons of each tribe, who are fome- 
times called princes of the congregation, and fometirnes 



elders of tie people^ were appointed to (hare with 
him in the arduous office of legiflation and govern- 

But, on the fubjedt of education, the refemblance 
fails. Theirs (as being uncommonly fuitable to their 
circumftances) is entitled to the high praife of being 
a good education : whereas I muft bafely flatter you 
if I were not to declare, that, for the very fame rea- 
fbn, yours afluredly is not a good one. It is not per- 
haps your reproach only, that [you pay far too little 
regard" to parental education":) but it is- highly difre- 
putable to you, to have it laid, that, with abilities 
abundantly adequate to a very ample provision, you 
have not provided the ufual fubftitutes of parental 
education. I could hardly expect to gain credit, 
were I to inform a foreigner (what you know is thd 
fact) that in a country containing not lefs than half 
a million of fouls (all of them profefling the Chriftian 
religion, and a majority of them members of the 
Church of England ; living, moreover, under the 
Britilh government, and under Britifh laws ; a peo-< 
pie farther advanced in many of the refinements of 
polifhed life, than many large diftricts even of the 
Parent State; and in general thriving, if not opulent,) 
there yet is not a fingle college, and only one fchool 
with an endowment adequate to the maintenance of 
even a common mechanic. What is ftill lefs credi- 
ble is, that at leaf! two thirds of the little education 
fcve receive are derived from inftrudtors, who are either 




Not a fhip arrives either with redemptioners * or con- 
victs, in which fchoolmafters are not as regularly ad- 
vertifed for fale, as weavers, tailors, or any other 
trade ; with little other difference, that I can hear of, 
excepting perhaps that the former do not ufually 
fetch fo good a price as the latter. I blufhed, even 
for an Heathen State, when, long ago, I read, in one 
of the mod intelligent moral writers of Greece, that 
they alfo were chargeable with an equally ftiameful 
and cruel inflance of negligence f . Any fuch inat- 
tention you are far enough from pracYifing in the 
other concerns of life ; in which no people are more 

* Redemptioners were fuch Europeans as, revolving to emigrate 
to America, and not being able to pay for their paffage, contracted 
with captains of mips to be permitted, on their arrival in America^ 
to find a matter for themfelves, who, on their agreeing to ferve him 
three, four, or five years, would redeem them by paying their ran, 
fom, or the money for their paflage, 

j- liiti vvv y TO 7vo/nioy 7roAXo< y9Te xaraysXaron ?r* lav -yap 

SovXuv rut ffKovScriuv Toy? ytvgyoi/s a7roSxwoucn, Toy? SI 
TOW? $t E/KTrogoy?, Toy? $i oix.ovofA.ovgf TOW? ^ ^aysf-a$* o Ti $ 
avJpaTro^ov ovoXn7TTOt xa* Atp^voy, TTO; wacrav ^rfay^taTiiav OLfflyrovj TOVTU 
^om? t/Tro^a'xXoycri Toy? ytoy?. The practice of many perfons at 
prefent is very ridiculous : of the moft capable of their fervants 
they appoint fome to be hufbandmen, fome to be commanders of 
veflels, fome to be merchants, fome to be flewards, and fome to 
be money-fcriveners ; whereas, if they happen to meet with one 
who is either a drunkard or a glutton, and utterly incapable of 
bufmefs, to Kim they allot the management of their children. 
Plutarch, de Liberia Educandis, edit. Reifke, torn. vi. p. u. 

ex per t^ 


expert, or more attentive to their intereft. I do not 
mean to offend you, when I mention the farcaftic 
remark of Diogenes to the people of Megara ; of 
which many particulars that I have obferved among 
you have often reminded me. Seeing they took great 
care of their property, and paid little attention to the 
riling generation, he faid, it was better to be one of 
their fwine than one of their children. 

This very reproachful neglecl of education in the 
middle colonies it is in your power to remove ; and 
you are without excufe for not having removed it 
long ago. But, befides this, public education labours 
under another great difadvantage among you, which 
I am afraid it is not in your power to remove : I mean 
the neceffity you are under of bringing up your chil- 
dren among flaves. Whilft I knewflaves and flaveiy 
at a diftance and in theory only, I both thought and 
faid, that, were it poflible, from motives of curiofity, 
I could have a defire to bring up a child with the 
temper of a bafhaw, at once cowardly and cruel, I 
would give him, in his early years, an unlimited con- 
troul over flaves. I thank God our children no wherp 
have fuch abfolute authority over their attendants, 
who are always flaves, as is here ftated ; but they have 
every where too much : yet is it very far from pro- 
ducing, in fact, any fuch effect as, when I judged of 
it only from theory, I have owned I expected it 
would ; for, I willingly bear you teftimony, that, as 
far as my obfervations for more than ten years in the 



midft of flaves are to be depended on, you are in the 
treatment of flaves mild and humane *. Much of 
this (I can fuppofe) may be owing to your natural 
good temper and good fenfe : but more (1 truft) is 
owing to the form of your govern men t, and to your 
religion ; becaufe it is a texture of national character 
in which we again have the honour to refemble the 
Jews, who like us had flaves, and like us treated 
them with kindnefs. And when it is confidered 
that, according to the fubordi nation of conditions 
(which, for the good of all, our Maker has eftablifhed 
among mankind,,) fome muft toil and drudge for 
others ; whilft flaves are well treated, and matters 
well ferved, the argument is not perhaps fo decifive 
(as it is often affumed to be) that this kind of con- 

* I have heard a remark on the treatment of (laves by the different 
nations who poffefs them in America ; which, if founded in facl, 
(as 1 believe it is,) may perhaps fugged fome not incurious infer- 
ences. The Spaniards, whofe national character is not generally 
fuppofed to be diftinguifhed for gentlenefs, are faid to be the moft 
indulgent mailers to flaves : next to them the French ; then the 
Englifh ; and laft of all, the Dutch. I once heard an Indian make 
the fame obfervation refpecling the French and Englifh, in their 
treatment of Indians. The remark is not an uncommon one, that 
perfons moft clamorous about liberty are in general (on a compa- 
rifon with others J moft apt to be domineering and tyrannical in their 
private characters j for the fame reafon, I prefume, that even ty- 
rants, who have always been defpots, are fometimes found to be 
indulgent and generous, whilft none are more apt to be infolent 
and tyrannical than thofe who, having been flaves, fuddenly be 
come poffefled of freedom and authority over flaves. 



ne&ion between a matter and a fe'rvant is lefs liberal, 
and lefs advantageous, than the venal and mercenary 
one of compact and hire ; which is not without it's 
difadvantages, any more than flavery. 

I own, however, that I diflike flavery ; and, among 
other reafons, becaufe, as it is here conducted, it has 
pernicious effects on the focial ftate, by being unfa- 
vourable to education. It certainly is no neceflary 
circum (lance, efTential to the condition of a flave, 
that he fhould be uneducated : yet this is the gene- 
ral, and almoft univerfal, lot of flaves. Such extreme, 
deliberate, and fyftematic inattention to all mental 
improvement, in fo large a portion of our fpecies, gives 
far too much countenance and encouragement to 
thofe abject perfons who are contented to be rude 
and ignorant. By feeing human beings, who, though 
uninformed, are yet fatisfied with their lot, and never 
think of afpiring after knowledge, an acquiefcence 
under a want of knowledge is produced ; which is 
more general among you, and of far more pernicious 
confcquencc than you fcem to be aware of. A white 
man can hardly be fo totally illiterate and without 
inftmction as not to be in many refpects better 
informed, and a wifer man, than flaves in general are. 
With flaves, however, he mud often aflbciate ; and 
with them he felclom finds reafon to draw compari- 
fbns in disfavour of his own attainments: however 
low then he may be in the fcale of intellectual im- 
provement, whilfl he fees others who are ftill lower, 
he ceafes to be afhamed of his deficiencies. It has 



appeared to me, (and I fear I am not miftaken,) that 
the labouring clafles of people here differ from thofe 
in the fame Iphere of life in the Parent State, in two 
particulars : they are more ignorant, and they are lefs 
religious. I am far from meaning to fay either that 
they have not as good natural parts, or that they are 
more depraved : what I mean is, that they have little 
or no acquired information ; and though they are not 
perhaps particularly immoral, they are not moral on 
a proper principle ; they are not religious ; they nei- 
ther know, nor wifh to know, much of religion. Their 
want of general information may be accounted for 
m fome meafure, perhaps, from the great heats of 
our fummers, which, ! am very fenfible, indifpofe all 
of us to exertion and habits of ftudy : but, it can 
hardly admit of a doubt, that it is owing far more to 
their being fo much with people liill lefs informed 
than them lei ves. For their unconcern about reli^ 
gion (a circumftance of particular unhappinefs to 
themfelves, and hardly lefs to be regretted by the 
community) it probably is to be afcribed to the fame 
caufes ; that is to lay, the fame want of education, 
by which they might be informed of the value of re- 
ligion : and, perhaps, in no final 1 degree, to the par- 
ticularly unafTuming, unauthoritative, and unalluring 
way in which religious knowledge is here communi- 
cated ; as well as to the very few opportunities they 
have, or can have, of receiving religious inftruclion. 
Under the moft favourable circumfhmces, a majority 
of the people of this province cannot hope to attend 



public worfliip and hear a fermon more than once in 
a fortnight or three weeks : and what minifler can 
pretend privately to vifit his parifhioners (the mod 
important part, perhaps, of the paftoral charge) in a, 
parifh of fifty or fixty miles extent ? 

When I faid that two thirds of the perfons now 
employed in Maryland in the inftruction of youth 
were either indented fervants or convicts, the afler- 
tion was not made quite at random, nor without as 
much previous authentic information as the nature 
of the cafe would admit of. If you enquire who 
and what the other third are, the anfwer muft be, 
that, in general, they are aliens, and in very few in- 
ftances members of the Eftablifhed Church. 

Were it not the hard fate of religion to be regarded 
as an inferior and infignificant part of education,^! 
muft be deemed incongruous, that thofe natives who 
are born in the communion of the Church of England, 
and are intended and expected to continue in her 
communion, fhould be taught their religion by dif- 
fenters *.j One of the firit and moft obvious cffefls 


* Dr. South, in the clofe of his Sermon on Education, fpeaking 
of fchools and academies kept by difTenters, declares, in his warm 
and ftrong manner, that " it is a practice that looks with a more 
" threatening afpect upon religion than any one fanatical or repub- 
" lican encroachment made upon it befides : for, this is the direct 
" and certain way to bring up a race of mortal enemies both to 
" Church and State. To derive, propagate, and immortalize the 
" principles and practices of forty-one to pofterity, is fchifm and 
" fedition for ever ; faction and rebellion in fecula fseculorum ; 

<* which, 


of this loofe manner of enforcing religious impreffioriS 
is a fort of general latitudinarianifm ; and when 
mankind have once been brought to think that one 
religion is as good as another, the next ftep is to 
conclude that the thing itfelf is not of much mo- 
ment : and when religion in general is thus fet at 
naught, neither good morals, npr good conduct, will 
be much regarded. I fhould imagine there are fevy 
perforis fo carelefs (not to fay profligate" as not to 
be fhocked at the idea of leaving; behind them a de- 

to nliiT:- 

generate and worthlefs pofterity. |Jft were better < as 
the famous William Penn long ago obferved) that 
the world fhould now end with us, than that we 
fhould be the means of continuing it only that it 
may be wicked and miferabfc.j 

The truth is, we are fo much out of order in this 
great bufmcfs, that it would be to compliment us 
to fay we have only the fin of neglect to anfwer for. 
We have not only left undone that which we ought 
to have done ; but have alfo done that which we 

" which, I am fure, no honeft Englifh heart will ever fay Amen to. 
" We have, I own, laws againft conventicles: but believe it* it would 
" be but labour in vain to go about to fupprefs them, whilft thefc 
** nurferiea of difobedience are fufFered to continue. For> thofe firft 
" and early averfions to the government, which thefe mail infufe 
" into the minds of children, will be too flrong for the cleareft 
" after-convictions which can pafs upon them when they are men* 
' So that when thefe under- ground workers have once planted a 
** brier, let no governor think, that, by all the arts of clemency and 
'* condefcenfion, or any other cultivation whatfoever, he mail change 
" it into a rofej c." South's Sermons, vol. 5. Serm. i, p. 44. 



ought not to have done. And that we are not already 
reprobate to every good work, is more owing to the 
goodnefs of God, who had ftngularly blefled the 
people of thefe countries with a natural abhorrence 
of every thing that is monnrous either in vice or ir* 
folly, than to our care and prudence in inftrucling 
the rifing generation. We have among us proofs in 
abundance of the influence of education ; but unfor- 
tunately they are the proofs oniy of the bad, the 
wrong effects of a bacl education. They too plainly 
ihew what men may become by being trained up in 
idlenefs, ignorance, and impurity of manners. 

In either moral or political conduct it is reckoned 
no ordinary proof of wifdorn to fubmit fometimes to 
be taught even by an enemy *. Mark then the con- 
duct of the various fectaries now every where fpring- 
ing up among us, like w r eeds in a neglecled foil. They 
not only plant their fchools in every place where they 
can have the moil diftant profpect of fuccefs ; but 
they have conducted their interefts with fuch deep 
policy, that (as was obferved of the Jefuits in Europe) 
they have almoft monopolized the inftruction of our 
youth. Of our American colleges only two (I think) 
are profeiTedly formed on the principles of the efta- 
blifhed religion. 

We are -not, however, (I blefs God !) wholly with- 
out tutors of meritorious characters, nor without 
fome places of education whicii are not liable to thefe 

- fas eft et a|> hofte doceri." 



exceptions. Yet, even with thofe men, and in thofe 
places, the education is not of the right fort. Proud, 
as perhaps it is no reproach to us to own that 
we are, to form our manners and our fentiments 
on the model of the Parent State, yet much more 
difpofed to copy her follies and her vices than her 
merits and her virtues, we fervilely follow the 
track (he chalks out for us, in inftances where we 
might commendably depart from it : and hence even 
our beft education, like her's, is incongruous with 
our religion and our laws. As Chriftians, there 
furely is a propriety in our being taught the doclrines 
of Chriftianity; and as fubjects, intended to live under 
a monarchy, we are at leaft prepofteroufly, if not 
dangeroufly> educated, when we are taught to prefer 
republicanifm. Yet what are all the admired authors 
ufually found in fchools, to the ftudy of whom alone 
we devote our firft and beft years, but the feducing 
panegyrifts of a very lax morality, and of ftill more 
diflblute principles of policy ? They may perhaps 
furnifh us with the beft models of competition, and 
enable us to fhine as orators and rhetoricians : but, 
what are thefe in comparifon with the importance of 
forming good men and good citizens ? You will 
believe me, it is not without fome compunction of 
heart that I can bring myfelf thus to tear the well- 
earned bays from the brows of thefe admired writers, 
to whom fo large a portion of my life has been de- 
voted, and in whofe bewitching fociety I ftill fpend 
(and hope long to Ipend) many of my pleafanteft 



moments. Let them flill be read, ftill ftudied, and 
Hill admired ; as no doubt they always will be by all 
men of true tafte : but let not our youth be fent to 
them only, to learn their duty to God, their neigh- 
bour, and themfelves. It is high time that the chil- 
dren of Chrhlian parents fhould have a Chriftian 
education : it is high time that we fhould, in earneft, 
and totally, renounce Heathenifm ; the doing of which, 
a learned Divine * fays, is the true meaning of the 
promife, to renounce the devil and all his works, made 
for us at our baptifm. 

When, towards the beginning of this difcourfe, I 
took the liberty to cenfure writers on education for 
having confined their obfervations too much to fchools 
and fchoolmaflers, I hope I could not be underftood 
as meaning to infinuate that I thought either fchools 
or fchoolmafters to be improper or unnecefTary. Pa- 
rents, no doubt, are the natural tutors of their own. 
children : and though, under the ftri6l government 
of Sparta, this was found to be too great a power to be 
fafely trufted in their hands, he muft be a bold man 
who fhould venture to recommend to the State to 
exercife the fame power in the fame way now, in the 
eighteenth century, and in the province of Maryland. 
Not that it is a privilege, on which parents feem now 
to fet any high value ; whatever might be the cafe, if 
it were invaded : their great fault and greater re- 
proach is, that they take little or no concern about it. 

* Dr. Hammond. 

O Perfectly 


Perfe$:Iy indifferent who educates their children, fo 
that they thernfelves have not the trouble of attending 
to it, they perfuade themfelves their duty is done, and 
done well, whilft they pay for having it done ; no 
matter how, or by whom. So far, however, am I 
from undervaluing either fchools or fcboolmafters, 
that I think it one of the moil objectionable circum- 
ftances belonging to your province thank has in it 
fo few of either) and that even thofe few are fo poorly 

No public meafure, therefore, has lately been 
brought forward which I think more proper or more 
commendable than the propofed incorporation of 
thefe fchools. That it would have been better to 
have made each of the feparate fchools a good fchool, 
will hardly be difputed : I am thankful, however, 
that at laft we have the profpedl of at leaft one re- 
putable fchool on the Weflern fhore. In what has 
hitherto been done in the matter, you feem to me to 
have done well : and I feel it to be my duty, as it 
certainly is my pleafure, to bid you go on, and fr -offer. 
You muft indeed, literally, go on ; or all that has yet 
been don-e has been done in vain. Having now 
given being to an infant fcminary, you muft not, like 
the oftrich, defert your own offspring. If it be not, 
in ftri&nefs of fpeech, a child of your own, it is at 
leaft an orphan and a minor, and you are it's truftees 
and guardians. This truft, I can well rely, you will 
faithfully perform : and as the time is now come for 
jour making rules and ftatutes for it's future govern. 



ment, let me yet have leave to fuggeft an obfervation 
or two refpecling both the difcipline and the inftruo 
tion which it may be expedient to promote in it. 

As to difcipline, the firft and moft eilential point 
is, the chcofing a proper perfon to prefide over your 
fchool : and, in determining who is proper, it will 
behoove you to be efpecially careful to " choofe no 
" man out of favour or affection, or any other worldly 
" confideration, but with a fincere regard to the ho- 
cc nour of Almighty God and our bleiTed Saviour, as 
" you tender the interefts of the Chriilian religion 
" and the good of men's fouls *." Condefcend to 
copy the precaution of a venerable Society, to which 
America has long owed the greateft obligations : and 
have good afTurances of your fchoolmafter's * c zeal 
for the Chriftian religion - f diligence in his calling ; 
affeclion to the prefent .Government; and conformity 
to the doctrine and difcipline of the Church of Eng- 
land f ." Let him be required alfo, after the example 
of another no lefs venerable Society ^, on his ad- 
miflion into your fchool, to, 

declaration or promife, as follows: that " he does 
" heartily acknowledge his majefty King George to 
" be the only rightful and lawful king of thefe realms; 
" and will, to the utmoft of his power, educate the 
" children committed to his charge in a true fenfe of 

* Inftr unions given by the Society for promoting Chriftian 

t Do. by the Society for propagating the Gofpel in Foreign Parts. 

f That for promoting Charity-fchoola in Ireland. 

O2 " their 


" their duty to him as fuch : that he will not, by any 
" words or actions, do any thing whereby to leifen 
" their eSteem of, or their obedience to, the prefent 
" Government : that, upon all public days, when the 
" children of this fchool may be likely to bear a part 
f( in any tumults and riots, (which are an affront to 
" Government, and fo great a fcandal, as well as pre- 
judice, to thefe realms,) he will do hisbeSt to keep 
" them in, and reftrain fuch licentioufnefs. And 
" likevvife, if there be any catechifms or institutions 
" which teach or encourage any exceptionable politi- 
* c cal or party principles, fuch as are incompatible with 
*' the Law and the Constitution of this country, he 
" will immediately throw them aSide, as pernicious 
" to the original dcfign of this pious nurfery." 

You will alfo, I imagine, think it incumbent on 
you to do at leaSl fomething towards directing and 
fettling fome prefcribed plan, manner, or SySlem, by 
which you judge it proper that public instruction 
fhould be communicated* It is true, indeed, that, in 
my own country, I have feen and experienced the 
fhort-Sightednefs of that wifdorn which, in the found- 
ing of fchools and other feminaries of learning, hoped 
to perpetuate good principles, by ordering and en- 
joining a particular fet of books to be read ; books 
which have now long been obfolete. But, to avoid 
this rock, it is not neceflary to run upon another, 
and to leave the courfe of reading or Study open to 
:the caprice of every new governor of a national inSti- 
tute. {^1 conceive you may, with perfect propriety, 


direft. not only what fhall not be ftudicd, but what 
{hall. I Inftead of indifcriminately compelling all our 
youth, with or without a genius adapted to fuch 
ftudies, to fpend the whole period of education in 
fruitlefs attempts, " merely (as Milton fays) to fcrape 
" together a little miferable Greek and Latin," it is 
much to be wifhed fome difcrimination could be 
made ; and that boys hereafter might be taught, not 
words only, but fuch things as they are beft qualified 
to learn, and fuch as are likely to be of mod ufe to 
them in the part they are hereafter to act in the great 
drama of life. What is practicable and ufeful in one 
country, might be made fo in another. In Ruffia, a 
grand fcheme was formed for inftituting one great 
uniform plan of a national education ; which was to 
have comprehended (beiides all the ufual articles 
taught in fchools) various branches of natural philo- 
fophy, as applied to the practical bufinefles of life ; 
together with lectures on naval, military, civil, and 
commercial fubjecls ; and more particularly, inftruc- 
tion in agriculture. That it has not been carried 
into effect, I have not been informed : if it has, it is 
hardly poffible it fhould not have fucceeded *. How 
far fuch a project could be brought to bear in thefe 
times, and in this country, I do not take upon me to 
fay : but to make it a part of our prclent plans, (I 
own,) I think is impracticable. If, however, we can~ 

, * Such readers as may wifti for fuller information as to the fcheme 
here mentioned, are referred to the Biographia Britannica, new 
edition, under the article DR. JOHN BROWN, vol. ii. p. 663. 

O i not 


not be taught all that is proper, we may at leaft avoid 
being taught what is improper. And, with all due 
deference to fome great authorities, let me, without 
offence, be here permitted to mention, that our ex- 
treme partiality for oratory, and fpeech-making, may 
with great propriety be difcontinued. I am neither 
prepared nor difpofed to enter into a full comparifon 
of the advantages and difadvantages of oratory : my 
opinion is, that, whatever may formerly have been the 
cafe, it now every where does much more harm than 
it does good anywhere. It is, I fuppofe, becaufe, along 
with their rules and modes of fpeaking, we fometimes 
adopt the fentiments and principles of our great maf- 
ters in the art, who were republicans, that orators are 
in general adverfe to government. If I am not much 
miftaken, I have not unfrequently heard fpeeches re- 
plete with fedition, whilft yet the fpeaker had no 
ferious ill-will nor milchievous intention againft go- 
vernment, nor any other aim than the credit of 
making a popular harangue. No injury, therefore, 
I apprehend, will be done to your infHtution, though 
declamations and fpeech-days fhould be no part of 
it's fyftem. 

Particular grammars, or particular catechifms, can- 
not well be fpecified and enjoined by ftatute : but 
there is one book of inftruclion, which (by the bleff- 
ing of God, I truft) will never come into difufe ; I 
mean, THE BIBLE, Let claffical learning ftill be at- 
tended to as it deferves; and no man is more ready 
than I am to acknowledge that it deferves to be very 



inuch attended to : but, let it no longer monopolize 
all our attention. Let fchools, at length, come to be 
regarded as nurferies of religion and good morals, as 
well as feminaries of learning ; and, whilft we read 
and ftudy the daffies, (as excellent models of all that 
is elegant or perfect in compofition,) let us take due 
care not to be milled either by their loofe morals, or 
any of their falfe notions of government. Thus read, 
and thus fludied, fo far from doing harm, they may 
do good. I fee nothing incompatible between a fine 
tafte and a pure morality, between being a good 
Scholar and a good Chriftian. Thus guarded, we 
may read tribunitial harangues againft legal reftraints, 
without even weakening that neceilary and juft fub~ 
jeftion to thofe higher powers, who were ordained by 
God for the benefit of man : we may admire the 
language and elegance of the compofition, whilft we 
defpife and deteft it's principles. But I have not 
been fo heedlefs an obferver of men and things, as not 
to have feen inftances, in abundance of men, of liberal, 
generous, and cultivated minds, loft and undone by 
the habit, firfl acquired at fchool, of reading only 
claffics : inftead of loving Chriftian verity and purity, 
they have thus become contented to grope and grovel 
in the darknefs and filth of Heathenifm. 

If the picture, prefented to you in this difcourfe, of 
the Jewifh fyflem of education, (a picture which I be- 
lieve to be drawn from the life,) has appeared to you, 
as I own it has to me, better calculated than that of 
any other people to infpire the rifing generation with 

O 4 that 


that warm attachment and love for their country 
which alone deferves to be called rational, virtuous, 
or Chriftian, you will not perhaps think it beneath 
you to imitate at leaft thofe parts of it which are 
fuitable to your circumftances. Something like a 
compromife, it would feem, might eafily and ad van - 
tageoufly be made between the exceffive dread and 
Abhorrence which Jews were taught to entertain of 
Gentile principles and manners, and the no lefs ex- 
ceffive predileclion of Chriftians for them. And 
fhould the idea of fuch an accommodation be favour- 
ably received,, I take the liberty to fuggeft to you two 
points in the Jewifti code, which, I perfuade myfelf, 
will be found as practicable as they certainly are 
reafonable. Whilfl it fhall continue to be thought 
proper that, as an efTential part of a liberal education, 
our youth fhould be enabled to read the immortal 
compofitions of Heathen orators and poets in their 
original languages, I hope it will not be thought lefs 
proper that they fhould be enabled to read the Scrip- 
tures alfo in their refpective original languages. I 
likewife hope it will not be thought lefs neceffary, 
rior (permit me to add) lefs agreeable, thatthe Hiflory, 
the Laws, and the Conftitution of our own country 
fhould be diligently read and (ludied by our young 
men,,jfwhether in a fchool or a college, than thofe of 
the Heathen ftates of antiquity. 

To conclude May you fo found and regulate the 
inftitution now to be put under your guardianfhip, 
and may you fo faithfully and carefully watch over it 



when founded, as that it may be an honour and 3 
blefling to your country ! And, may that God, who 
hath fed us all our lives long, and hath redeemed us 
from all evil, blefs our children, and teach them the good 
wherein they Jhould walk * ! 

* Gen. ch. xlviii, ver. 15. and Exod. ch. xviii. rcr. 20* 





PROVERBS, ch. xxiv. ver. 2,1. 

My Son, fear tlou tie Lord, and tie King ; and meddle 
not with tlem tlat are given to change. 

IT was far from Solomon's intention, in this earneft 
dehortation to his fon, to difcountenance all change ; 
as that would differ but little from difcountenancing 
all improvements. In arts and fciences, it is com- 
mendable in men to be always aiming at fometl'mg 
new, and even to be given to change ; as far at leaf! as 
real improvements imply change -f<. It is in matters 

* Preached at Annapolis, in Maryland, in the year 1771. 

f " Magnum certe difcrimen inter res civiles & artes : non cnim 
idem periculum a novo motu, a nova luce. Verum, in rebus 
" civilibus, mutatlo etlam in meltus fufpe6ta eft ob perturbationem : 
" cum civilia audoritate, confenfu, fama & opinione, non demon- 
" ftratione, nitantur. In artibus autem & fcientiis, tanquam i 
" metalli fodinis, omnia novis operibus & ulterioribus progreflibu* 
" circumilreperc debent. Jt Lord Bacon. 



only which concern government, morality and reli- 
gion, that this propeniity to change becomes danger- 
ous ; becaufe, in thofe points more efpecially, man- 
kind are mofl apt to miftake innovation for improve- 

On other fubjects men may fpeculatc, try experi- 
ments, and attempt improvements, if not always with 
advantage, yet perhaps without danger. But there 
is danger, even in the notion, that religion and 
government admit of improvement ; much of their 
influence and efficacy depending on the perfuafion 
that they are already perfect. This is the argument 
of the text, in which the wifefl of men refts a refpect 
and reverence for laws, either human or divine, en- 
tirely on the perfuafion that they have the authority 
of God. 

It is by no means aflerted or infinuated, that any 
religious eftablifhment, or any form of government, 
either is, or ever was, fo faultlefs as to be abfolureljr 
incapable of amendment ; nor that it is not wife and 
proper for mankind to endeavour to render both flill 
more and more perfect. All that can be inferred 
from the text is, that every man who has a due regard 
for God, whofe will it is that mankind fhould be re- 
ligious, and live under government, (without both of 
which it is impoffible they ever fhould live happily,) 
will be cautious how he liftens to any new projects 
which it is poffible may weaken the foundations of 
either the one or the other. With no defire wholly to 
controul this innate bias of the human mind, Solomon 



is contented to regulate it ; and, therefore, equally 
careful not to encourage his fon in the vitionary and 
romantic idea, (not unnatural to a youthful mind,) that 
in government and religion it was expedient to plan 
frefh alterations and to aim at farther improvements, 
he warns him againfl thofe bold reformers who are 
ufually eager to change old things for no better reafon 
than that they are old, and to adopt new only becaufc 
they are new. 

Unfteadinefs, and a propenfity to change, are as ha- 
zardous to communities as a levity in fhifting from 
opinion to opinion is difreputable to individuals. 
Ficklenefs is a prevailing feature in the character of 
children : and if there be any foundation for the 
fuppofition of etymologifts, that the word changeling, 
as denoting an idiot, is derived from this childifh 
paffion for change, it proves that the being given to 
change has long and generally been conlidered as 
eminently unwife. 

It is remarkable that this flrong predilection for 
change, with all it's good and all it's bad confe- 
quences, prevails chiefly among Europeans. Whe- 
ther we, who inhabit Europe, (for I coniider the 
Britifh colonies in North America ftill as Europeans 
in this refpect,) were originally formed with more ac- 
tive minds, or whether there be fomething in our 
climates that is peculiarly adapted to fet our faculties 
in motion, we want data to enable us to determine : 
|>ut the fact is not more extraordinary than it is cer~ 
tain p that moft of the great revolutions of the world 
3 have 


have taken place, not in Africa, nor till very lately 
in America, but in Afia, and in Europe. It is hardly 
more characteriilical of the governments of Europe 
to be liable to change, than it is of thofe of the Eaft, 
that, like the laws of the Medes and Perfians, they 
niter not ; or, if in fome of them great revolutions 
have fometimes occurred, they have been effected, 
not as in European ftates, by any fluctuations in the 
popular opinion, but by the overbearing ambition of 
fome towering and fuccefsful individual. Of the 
truth of this remark the great kingdom of China is 
a ftriking inftance ; in which, with the exception of 
that fingle revolution which fet the prefent Tartar 
family on the throne, (but which produced no alte- 
ration in the internal (late of the country,) no change 
of any moment affecting their government is record- 
ed in their hiflory. Their other inflitutions, and 
even their manners, are equally unvarying and per- 

Jufl the contrary is the character of the nations of 
Europe, and their dependencies. Here every thing is 
in a ftate of perpetual mutability. To what extent 
that motley principle called Fafhion, which exifls 
and flourifhcs only by change, prevailed in the ancient 
ftates of Greece and Rome, it might not perhaps lx; 
eafy to afcertain : but I believe it is now peculiar to 
us, on this fide the Line, to yield to the dictates of 
fafhion, not only in the lefs fignificant circumftances 
of life, fuch as drefs, food, amufement, and modes of 
living, but alfo in manners, opinions, principles, and 



do&rines. Men of reading and obfervation 
eafily name the times and the countries, when par- 
ticular fyftems of philofophy, particular tenets of re- 
ligion, one after another, have been adopted merely 
through the caprices of fafhion. Of thefe fyftems 
many, after enjoying a (hort- lived glory, are now 
fallen into total difefteem, in fome inftances perhaps 
with as little reafon as they were before embraced* 
Nothing of this fort enters into the character of the 
people of the Eaft, who are as tenacious of old opi- 
nions and old cuftoms as we are fickle and change^ 
able. A modern Bramin differs but little either in 
principle or practice from Zoroafter, the founder of 
his feel ; whilft neither a Church, nor a Seel, nor a 
Syftem of Philolbphy, nor a Form of Government, 
ean be named in Europe, which has not undergone 
many and great alterations* 

Confidered in this point of view, the hiftory of 
Europe is but the hiftory of the changes and chances 
which have reful ted from the fluctuation of opinions^ 
Every age has had, and iiill has, it's appropriate fea- 
ture: and every country has been^ and is, diftinguifh- 
ed by fome certain caft of fentiment, fome ruling 
propenflty, or the prevalence of fome favourite and 
fafhionable mode of thinking. It would be more than 
curious (if it were poffible) to afcertain, and collecl 
into one point of view, all the effecls that have flow- 
ed from this unchangeablenefs in the Southern world, 
for the purpofe of comparing them with the effecls 
to which our propenfity to change has given birth. 



Iti fome refpects, each peculiarity has, no doubt, been 
both advantageous and difadvantageous to the inha- 
bitants of either hemifphere. We owe it to this our 
variablenefs of temper, that our characters are more 
diverfified, and of courfe more interefting ; and to this 
unceafing fearch after improvement we alfo probably 
owe our acknowledged fuperiority in arts and fci- 
ences. But it is much to be queflioned, whether 
our advancement in goodnefs and happinefs has kept 
pace with all thefe other boafted improvements. As 
individuals, we are litigious, diflatisfied, and reftlefs ; 
and, in our public capacities, factious, turbulent, and 
rebellious : whilft the poor Gentoo, even under the 
delufions of a falfe religion, is in practice humble, 
unoffending, quiet, and peaceable, to a degree that 
ought to fhame difcontented and refractory Chri- 

Such is the imperfection of man, and fuch the per- 
fection of art, that, to effect any great improvements, 
no ordinary portion of time is neceffary ; fo that, con- 
lidering how Ihort life is, and how limited our capa- 
cities, even in their bed eftate, confelfcdly are, it 
might be well, if, going on in a progreffive flate of 
melioration, one age could finifh what another be- 
gan. This, however, is not now the ufual courfe of 
human conduct : inftead of availing ourfelves of the 
wifdom ofthofe who have gone before us, the em* 
ployment of one age is to pull down what the pre- 
ceding age had eftablifhed, and one reigning error is 
deftroyed only to make room for another. . Falfe 



fyftems are thus not unfrequently raifed on the riling 
of falfe fyftems, whilft we thus run from extreme td 
extreme ; truth is miffed ; and mankind, though 
always in fearch of happinefs, yet pafs through life 
without finding it. 

Still given to change, and fHIl prone to meddle with 
things which it would be our wifdom and felicity not 
to meddle with, the fafhion of this our day is, (to the 
reproach perhaps of our inventive faculties,) not to 
adventure on new, hazardous, and untried experi- 
ments of our own, but fervilely to copy the faults 
and the follies of thofe whole defperate projects of 
innovation brought fo dark a cloud over the brighteft 
period of our hiftory in the laft century. Like the 
bufy meddlers in the grand rebellion, our ruling pa- 
lion is to diflike and quarrel with every thing that is 
fettled ; and it feems to be our higheft gratification 
to be permitted to pull to pieces and deftroy fyftems 
and eftablifhments which it would probably have ex- 
ceeded our abilities to have formed. 

Inftead of a careful and difpaffionate ftudy of our 
prefent Conftitution, (which wants but to be ftudied 
and underftood to be admired and reverenced be- 
yond any form of government merely human that 
ever was eftablifhed upon earth,) we examine it only 
to find out it's flaws : as fome philofophers, more cu- 
rious than wife, furnifh themfelves with glafles of ex- 
traordinary powers, to enable them to difcover the 
fpots of the fun. There have, no doubt, been pe- 
riods in our hiftory, when our anceftors, under a dif- 


fidence of their private judgment, were perhaps too 
ready and tame in giving up their own opinions as 
individuals, through a blind deference to the judg- 
ments of others. It was then the faftrion to acquiefce 
in whatever had been long eftablifhed. And it is 
neither fuperftition nor folly thus to be contented 
with inftitutions of long continuance, though palpa- 
bly imperfect ; even in preference to fuch as in the- 
ory might feem lefs exceptionable, but which have 
never been tried by the touchftone of practice. There 
are cafes, however, and thofe not a few, in which it 
may be both creditable and beneficial to us to depart 
from long received and eftablifhcd maxims : but, 
whenever we do fo, the neceffity muft be manifeft, 
and the change conducted with all poffible temper 
and judgment. 

" Reformation of grievances," fays an excellent 
Divine *, " is confefTedly a good work, when it is in- 
" deed wanted ; that is, where the corruptions com- 
" plained of are real ones ; where the advantages rea* 
" fonably expected will counterbalance the hazards 
" attending all merely human attempts in this way ; 
u where it is conducted not only by warm hearts, 
" but by cool heads ; and concluded by fuch as know 
" how to build, as well as how to pull down.'* 

No change, in a fettled flate of things, can be a 
matter of indifference ; for, the mere act of chan- 
ging, even when it is allowedly for the better, is ha- 

* Dr, Gco. Fothergill. Sec his Sermons, vol. i. p. 88. 

p zardous, 


zardotis, by the countenance and encouragement ft 
affords to thofe who are given to change *. . In thefe 
bufy and eventful times, diftinguifhed chiefly for a 
reftlefs fpirit of innovation, the wifefl and beft men, 
eager to introduce reforms which they deem abfo- 
lutely neceiTary, will do well to confider, whether the 
good arifing from their projects may not ultimately 
be more than counterbalanced by the evil. The 
good expected is uncertain, but not fo the harm to 
be apprehended, if one certain confequence of all 
changes be the fhaking, in fome degree, the ella- 
bliflied fyftem, under which the community upon 
the whole live quiet and contented ^. For, as it 
is well obferved in the preface to our Liturgy, " com* 
t( mon experience fheweth, that where a change 
" hath been made of things advifedly eftabliflied, 
" (no evident neceffity fo requiring,) fundry incon- 
f * veniencies have thereupon enfued, and thofe many 

* " Ipfa mutatio confuetudinis, etlam quae adjuvat utilitate, per* 
" turbat novitate." St. Auguilin. 

f " The mifchiefs that have arifen to the public from inconfide- 
" rate alterations in our laws, are too obvious to be called in quef- 
* ( tion. The Common Law of England has fared, like other vene- 
*' rable edifices of antiquity, which rafli and unexperienced workmen 
** have ventured to new drefs and refine, with all the rage of mo* 
4t dern improvement. Hence frequently it's fymmetry has been de- 
" ftroyed, it's proportions diilorted, and it's mujeftic fimplicity ex- 

changed for fpeeious embellifhments and fantaftic novelties." 

Blackftone. See his Introd. on the Study of the Law. Commen- 
taries, vol. i. p. 10. Svo ed. 

3 " times 


" times more and greater than the evils that were 
" intended to be remedied by fuch change." 

St. Paul, in his lecond Epiftle to Timothy *, ac- 
cording to our tranflation, exhorts him to flee youth- 
ful lufts. Now, it is remarkable, that the word here 
tranflated youthful j- occurs only in this place, where 
another fenfe would better fuit the context. It's 
theme, wo?, in it's primary fenfe, is new : but it is alfo 
with great propriety, though in a fecondary fenfe, 
often uled for young, and fometimes for young perfons. 
The verb wAtpfjn, from which this term wwfyixoc 
(the word now under confideration) is derived, oc- 
curs frequently ; and the fenfe of it, according to 
Hederic and all lexicographers, is res novas molm, 
to innovate, to be given to change. Hence, inflead of 
flee youthful lufts, our tranflators might (almoft as li- 
terally "as, and certainly not with lefs exactnefs than, 
the prefent verfion) have rendered the paflage, in 
conformity with Solomon's charge in my text, avoid 

* Chap. if. ver. 22. 

f * f Per novitias cupiditates, recentiores quidam interpretes intel- 
*' ligunt vana innovandi dcfideria, & nova dogmata, & opiniones, 
" quo casteris videantur efle fapientiores, faftidientes antiqua : unde 
4t fcrif tores neoterid. Et non turpes lafeivias, quae juvenili xtati in- 
'* cidere folent ; quod colligitur ex perfona Timothei, qui abftinen- 
*' tiffimus erat, & ex prasfentis loci circumitantiis : has cupiditates 
'* igitur vitia funt quaedam animi, quibus laborare folent juvenes, 
" ut liquet ex fubjunftis virtutibus, quas his defideriis opponit, viz. 
<f inane m ambitionem & ghriolas, Quibus qui fto44i*tt**l{f&l*/rtll- 
" milter agere, a Graecis dicuntur ; unde oriri folent aliorum con- 

temptus & contentiones." Hardy's Gr. Teft. in loco. 

Pa innovating; 


innovating ; that is to fay, in other words, indulge no 
new-fangled defires, whims,, or fancies ; give no 
Countenance to thofe reftlefs members of the com- 
munity, whofe ruling paffion is change, and a han- 
kering after novelties. 

That this modern interpretation of the paffage is 
indifputably the true one it might be prefumptuous 
confidently to affert : but it is confeiledly the molt 
agreeable to the main fcope of the epiftle. Nor is 
any other interpretation fo confident and confenta- 
neous, as this is, with thofe exhortations to Jleadinefs 
and conftancy, which are the points moil infifted on 
in both thefe letters to Timothy. All thofe finking 
expreffions which occur in them both, fuch as men 
who are I o afters., proud, difoledient to parents, untbank-* 
fid, unholy, truce-breakers, falfe accufers, Incontinent, 
ferce, high-minded, traitors, heady, defpifers of thofe 
that are good, &c. are highly proper, when applied to 
perfons and times given to change. And it is at lead 
not improbable that, at the time thefe epiftles were 
written, the people of Ephefus, who, as well as Phy- 
gellus and Hermogenes, mid. all thofe who were in Afia, 
had always had itching ears, had been mifled by fome 
artful demagogues ; fo that they were not only no 
longer difpofed to endure found doclrine, but even in- 
fatuated enough to turn away from the Apoftle. In 
fuch a ftate of things, there was a particular propriety 
in the Apoftle's cautioning Timothy again ft fuch de- 
-lulive and dangerous innovations: thefe were the 
errors and vices of the times ; whereas youthful lufts 



can apply only to Timothy's perfonal character : in 
which, excepting that he was young, there certainly 
was nothing to require, or even to juftify, fo pointed 
an admonition. 

It has already been intimated, that religion re- 
quires or can bear innovations the leaft of all human 
concerns. For, religion is not of men's invention ; 
which may therefore be differently modified accord- 
ing to their different apprehenfions and capacities,. 
No : it is to be received, if at all, as a revelation from 
God ; and muft therefore, like it's high origin, be 
the fame to-day, yefterday, and for ever. 

And if religion itfelf be thus facred, every thing 
that is connected with it, and efpecially every thing 
that is neceflary to it's maintenance and fupport, 
muft alfo in fonrie degree be facred : yet neither as 
religion itfelf has not, fb neither have religious efta- 
blifhments (which are eflential to a national religion,) 
always efcaped the rafh hands of rafh reformers. In 
all ages there have been thofe who, vain of being 
ivife above ivhat is written, like the fabled giants of 
old, have been fo impious- as to attack Heaven itfelf. 
It may well humble men of even the brighteft talents 
to reflect, how often very great abilities have been 
perverfely employed to call in queftion even the mod 
important truths of revelation ; and that in this de- 
partment of literature the moft pernicious innovations 
have originated, if not in learning, yet in the pride of 

I am far from infinuating, however, that the people 
P 3 of 


of America have now any thing to dread either from 
learning, or the affeclation of learning. Our danger 
^rifes from rafh and daring ignorance ; from the 
pertnefs and felf-fufficiency of men who are fo illite- 
rate as even to defpife learning ; and from the meddk- 
fomenefs of republicanifm. That bold and bufy f~ it 
of innovation which, with fuch infinite induftry, has 
lately been difleminat ed through the other diftricts of 
the empire, has at length reached and infecled even 
this remote province : and whilft the great reformers 
of the Parent State, with bafe ingratitude, exert all 
their ftrength to depreciate religion itfelf, by denying 
the divinity of our Saviour, we (as if confcious of our 
inability, through our want of learning, to aflonifh 
the world by any puny efforts of ours to advance even 
irreligion) refolve to diftinguifti ourfelves, not by an 
attack on the citadel, but by inddioufly undermining 
the out-works. Without avowing or perhaps having 
any fettled purpofe really to overturn religion, our 
ill-will or our indifference for it feems for the pre-. 
fent to be fufficiently gratified by a weak and unr 
hallowed attempt to deftroy our religious eftablifh- 
ment. And fuch is our conceitednefs, foftered by 
the meddling temper of the times, that there is now 
hardly a man among us, however low and illiterate, 
who does not deem himfelf fully competent to reform 
both Church and State. 

You have long been tutored and inftructed in thefe 
topics by a numerous tribe of reformers, who, in, 
whatever elfe they may be deficient, certainly do pot 



tvant either confidence or induftry. Whilft, there- 
fore, like certain of tie Synagogue , which is called tie 
Synagogue of the libertines, they^/V you up to change the 
cuftoms delivered to you ly Mofes and by Solomon, be 
it my humbler (but I truft, holier) talk, with the 
plaintive Jeremiah, to exhort you to ajk for the old 
faths, and the good *way % and to continue to walk 

The point now chiefly aimed at by our prefent 
Maryland reformers, is a crude and novel fcheme to 
reduce the falaries of the great Officers of the State, * 
and the incomes of the eftablifhed Clergy. To render 
either the one or the other more ufeful to the com- 
munity, by rendering them more independent ; ftill 
more to enfure a faithful difcharge of their important 
functions, by ibme more judicious application of the 
great engine of rewards and punifhmcnts ; or to 
remove impediments that now fland in the way of 
their duty ; or to devife ftill farther aids to facilitate 
it's performance ; are reforms which make no part of 
our projects : they all aim at one fingle point, fome 
little narrow, penurious, favings. 

In freely delivering to you my opinion from this 
place on the cafe of the Clergy, I clearly keep within 
my immediate province as a preacher of the word of 
God. If, however, tempted by the opportunity, I 
alfo venture to fuggeft to you a few obfervations rer 
fpecling your Civil Officers, let me hope the digreffiou 
will be pardoned, if it be only in coniideration of the 
motive ; which is an apprehcnfion that, though it 

P 4 certainly 


certainly is of but fmall moment what my opinions 
may be on any queftions of State, yet if I mould be 
quite filent on the fubjecl, it might be inferred, that, 
anxious only for my own interefts, and thofe of the 
body to whom I belong, I cared little what became of 
any others ; or, perhaps, that I gave up the cafe of 
the Officers as incapable of being vindicated. 

The real motive for this reform, I am perfuaded, is 
it ? s apparent frugality * ; whilil the oftenfible one is, to 
leflen the influence of Government. If it were decent 
to animadvert on a reaibn which even thofe who are 
actuated by it are afhamed to produce, it really is too 
low and mean for notice : and as to the affigned reafon, 
it fhould, I think, firfl have been proved that this 
fuppofed influence really is too great ; and if it be, 
that this fcheme of reducing the falaries of it's Officers 
is a good way to lower the afcendancy of Government. 

It might be demonflrated, that, as things are now 
conftituted, our Government can exift and perform 
it's proper functions only through influence. Let 
us, for a moment, confider and difcufs this pofition. 

* " His political notions were thofe of an acrimonious and furly 
* { republican, for which it is not known that he gave any better 
" reafon than that a popular government was the moft frugal ; for 
?' the trappings of a monarchy would fet up an ordinary common- 
" wealth. It is furely very mallow policy that fuppofes money to 
" be the chief good ; and even this without coniidering that the 
* { fupport and expence of a Court is for the moft part only a par* 
<f ticular kind of traffic, by which money is circulated, without any 
f* national impoverifhment." Johnfon's Life of Milton, p. 143* 



The excellence of the Britifh Conftitution is, that it 
confifts of three difYtnct, independent, and equi- 
pollent, powers ; the King, the Lords, and Commons. 
This too is the fair model of our Maryland Govern- 
ment ; which confifts of a Governor, an Upper and a 
Lower Houle ; excepting that, here, all offices and 
honours are elective : none of them are hereditary. 
Thus the cafe flands in theory. In practice, however, 
fome material changes have taken place in both 
Governments. Through fome caufe or other, which 
I am not called upon either to praife or difpraife, nei- 
ther the King, nor his Governor here, though each of 
them is ftill one of the three co-equal powers com- 
pofing the whole of thefe refpective legiflatures, any 
longer exercife their prerogative as legiflators. With 
refpect to the exercife of any prerogative in legiflation, 
the cafe is the fame in all the Colonial Governments, 
royal as well as proprietary. Who ever knew the 
King, or any Governor under the King, on the 
ftrength only of that prerogative which the Confti- 
tution has undoubtedly veiled in him, directly give 
his negative to any bill that had patted both the 
Houfes ? No ; all his power is exercifed entirely 
through the medium of influence. Whether wifely 
or no, this change of direct prerogative into indirect 
influence has been occafioned folely by the undue 
predominance of the popular intereft. It is not there- 
fore unfair to conclude, that though the people diflike 
prerogative, they do not diflike influence : becaufe 
the change of prerogative for influence has been 



efFe&ed entirely through popular means. There is 
no other way in which the third branch of Go- 
vernment can take any part in legiflation. Since, 
then, by our own choice, the executive power can 
have any weight only by having influence, it fhould, 
in common reafon, have the means of obtaining that 

Tn the prefent ft ate of human affairs, at leaft in 
this part of the world, where even matters of duty 
and points of honour are not unfrequently regulated 
by the commercial balance of profit and lofs, a man 
has, or has not, influence, only as he has, or has not, 
the power of conferring favours. Deprive your King, 
or your Governor, of all means of benefiting others; 
and, unlefs you fhould fee fit to reflore prerogative 
(for the exercife of which, or at leaft of what he 
conceived to be fuch, by it's having been uniformly 
exercifed by his predeceflbrs on the throne, the royal 
martyr loft his life) you deprive him of his proper 
fhare of weight in the fcale of legiflation. With all 
the advantages of family connexion and fupport on 
their fide, and the purfe of the Nation in their hands, 
the preponderance of the two Houfes, when oppofed 
to the kingly power, would be, in comparifon, as the 
meafure of a mountain is to that of a mole-hill : and 
hence all the energy and efficacy of one of the three 
eftates of the realm would be deftroyed. A partial 
lofs of influence will produce the fame effect, as far as 
it goes : fo that to weaken thefe buttrefles of govern- 
ment is in effect to weaken government itfelf. It 




follows, then, that, by degrading and leffening the 
confequence of the perfons employed in the high 
offices of government, you will not only render their 
ftations mean, and therefore no longer likely to be 
folicited by men who are really refpeclable ; but you 
will clip the wings of the moft confpicuous and digni- 
fied branch of the legiflature. You will render that 
feeble and inefficient, which ought to be the ftrongeft: 
an dfcy thus {tripping adminiilration of all power to do 
good, in the way of open, direct, and conftitutional 
influence, you will drive it to the wretched fhifts of 
fubterfuge and intrigue *J| 

Other and better arguments in defence of a liberal 

and honourable allowance to your few great Officers 

of State, have been, and will be, urged elfewhere. 

Solely for your fakes, and to obviate your mifcon- 

ceptionsand prejudices, I ventured thus far to digrels 

from my immediate purpofe. It is not, I believe, 

ufual in political controversies of this fort, to argue 

only on the real merits of the queftion ; but I made 

it a point thus fairly to meet this queftion of influence, 

which is the only plaufible objection that I remember 

ever to have heard urged againft great falaries. If they 

cannot be defended on that ground, I do not fay 

they are utterly indefenfible, but they are clearly lefs 

defenfible. If, however, you ftill think the greater 

weight of the argument lies on the lide of thofe who 

* See many fuller and ftronger arguments in behalf of influence 
in the Crown, in Paley's Moral Philofophy, Book vi. cap. vii. 



contend that any influence in the hands of a fupremo 
magistrate is unneceflary and improper, or who (be- 
lieving that the influence which he now poflefles is 
exceffive) confider the fcheme of reducing the falaries 
of his Officers as the bed way to leflen it, you mud 
refolve, as no doubt you ought, to abide by your own 
convictions. All that I prefume to add, is, be as 
economical with the public purfe as decency and 
dignity will permit : but, do not weakly imagine, that 
all influence is corrupt, or employed to corrupt pur* 
pofes ; or, if it be, that the executive power alone has 
influence, or even corrupt influence. If we muft be 
reformed, if changes muft take place, be at fome pains, 
I entreat you, to have them fo conducted as to avoid 
that common failing of mankind, the flying from a 
fmall evil only to fall into a greater. In your zeal to 
get rid of monarchical pomp and fplendour, beware 
of falling into republican meannefs and infignificancy. 

But whether you and your leaders be right or 
wrong in their flrft inftructing you how to inftruct; 
them to infift, in the approaching feffions, on a re- 
duction of the falaries of your Secretary and your 
Commiflary and other great Officers of State, there 
furely can be no good reaibn for connecting the cafe 
pf the eilablifhed Clergy with that of thofe eminent 
perfons whp are placed in high civil ftations. Two 
cafes more diflimilar cannot well be imagined. 

Pardon me, if, whilft with particular earneftneis 
I thus enter my feeble proteft again ft this part of 
the project, I take the opportunity alfo to ex.prefs my 



difapprobation of that dangerous expedient, now 
coming into fafhion, of carrying all great points re- 
fpecting government by what is called an appeal to 
the people. Defpairing of fuccefs from the fair and 
manly method of free and impartial debate, our de- 
magogues find it eafier to bias a portion (and fome- 
times a confiderable portion) of the public mind, by 
enflaming their paffions : and thus the people (ever 
liable to become the eafy dupes of factious men) are 
incited to demand with clamour what iliould be 
granted to them, if at all, only bccaufe they have a 
right to it, and it's conceiTion would be for the ad- 
vantage of the public. To what dreadful ends fuch 
artful conduct may lead, I own I am alrnoft afraid to 
think : recollecting only, as I do with dread, that it 
was thus the people once were cunningly led on to 
depofe a Charles, and make a Cromwell their pro- 
tector ; to intercede for a thief, and to crucify the 
Saviour of the world. 

Prepared as you now are to look for changes, and to 
be contented with nothing but great reforms, it feems 
to reflect no great credit on your reformers, that, 
after all their diligence and zeal, they have been able 
to devife nothing of higher confequence than a re- 
duction of the revenues of the mere handful of Clergy- 
men which your province contains. In attempting 
to difcredit our order, they are, alas ! far enough 
from being fingular. Every where we find many 
who, caring but little for religion, care {till lefs for 
it's minifters. And I mention, with grief and fhame, 



that in no part of the world has our Church found 
either more numerous or more inveterate enemies 
than in the Parent State, where yet it is her happinefs 
to boaft of a Clergy pre-eminent in learning and 
piety. In England, reformers, one after another, 
have long teafed the world with project upon project 
for the reformation of the Church. Diftreffing and 
mifchievous, however, as their unceafing oppofition is, 
candour requires us to acknowledge, that it has gene- 
rally been conducted with fome femblance of fenfe 
and decency. Their attacks have been and are di- 
rected not always folely againft her tithes ; but againft 
her tefts, her articles, her creeds, her liturgy, and 
her hierarchy. It was referved for a few meddling, 
half- learned, popular lawyers of Maryland to raife a 
petty war, not directly and avowedly againft the 
Church, nor againft the priefthood, nor againft her 
prefent minifters ; but merely againft their revenues. 
It is a project that does no credit to their country : 
and I fpeak of it with tendernefs, when I am con- 
tented to call it the miferable expedient of a fet of 
weak men, inftigated by the example of fome of the 
rnoft unprincipled that ever were permitted to give 
laws to mankind. For, after all, thefe reformers of 
the Church of Maryland are doing no more than was 
done in the laft century by the Rump Parliament. 
And, unlefs Providence fhall, in it's mercy, fee fit to 
give you the grace and the wifdom not to meddle with 
them, this attack on our Church may end, as it did 
in Cromwell's time, with the downfal of the State. 



We are told, that one propofed appendage to the 
new infpe6tion law*, is to be, the giving to the people 
an option to pay their Clergy in tobacco, or in money, 
at their own pleafure. Not long lince, thefe fame 
reformers of Church and State, the lawyers of Mary- 
land^ found out a legal quibble, by which they gave it 
as their opinion, that the perpetual act of 1701, 2, 
which eftablifhed our Church, was originally null 
and void f. They are now contented to modify this 


* In the tobacco colonies there was a law, that no tobacco fhould 
be exported, or even tendered in payment, (moft of the fees of 
office, and moft public fervices, as well as the revenues of the Officers 
and Clergy, being payable, not in money, but in tobacco,) till it had 
been publicly infpected by infpectors publicly appointed, and a cer- 
tificate had been given of it's being of a marketable quality. All 
over the colonies, large warehoufes were creeled for fuch infpections. 

f The cafe was as follows : An act for the Eftablifliment of the 
Church of England was, in the time of King William, i. e. in 
1701, 2, framed and pafled by the Legislature of Maryland; and 
then, according to the ufual courfe of proceeding, fent home for 
the royal aflent. The act, as framed in Maryland, was not wholly 
approved of in England ; and therefore it was fent back, amended 
and modelled according to the King's pleafure. Thefe amendments 
were adopted in the next Provincial AfTembly, and in due form 
enabled into law. In the mean time, and before it was polfible that 
the event mould be known in Maryland, King William died : this 
act, however, when a fecond time fent home, modelled and palTed 
according to the form directed by the late King, was approved of 
and confirmed by his fucceflbr, Queen Anne. Notwithftanding' 
this, and notwithftanding alfo that the ad had been received, and 
generally acted on as law, for upwards of feventy years, and that it 
had been recognized by fundry fubfequent acts, fome of which had 
even been grounded on it, fome popular lawyers now difcovered, 



fame dead act anew, for the fingle purpofe of leflen- 
ing the proVifion there made for the maintenance 
of the minifters of the Church of England. I 
have feen an anfvver of the Upper Houfe to a petition 
of the Clergy, on an occaiion like the prefent ; in 
which (fo far from having any defigns to diminijh the 
revenues of the Church) they declare, that " the law 
" was dejigned to ADVANCE the inter eft of the Clergy 
" in particular" I have alfo feen an anfwer of the 
Lower Houfe of AfTembly to a Governor's fpeech, in 
which are thefe remarkable words : " we will always 
" bear a juft regard to that reverend body, nor at- 
" tempt to obtrude any terms on them, which it may 
not fuit their inclinations to accept of: nor do 
*we fee any reafon to join the income of the Church 
and State on the prefent occafion, the former being 
" GROUNDED ON LAW, the latter not *." 


that it was originally null and void. Their plea was, that the Pro- 
vincial Afiembly, which patted this law, was not a legal affembly j 
as having been fummoned and called together by a writ in the name 
of King William, when King William was dead. 

* It is much to the credit of our Church that, ever fmce her 
eftablimment, all our fucceeding Legiflatures have refpe&ed and 
cherifhed her interefts with parental folicitude : and it is perhaps 
not lefs to her credit, that Mr. Locke himfelf, on an occafion that 
is much to our prefent purpofe, alfo declared himfelf very unequi- 
vocally in her favour. In the g6th Conftitution of Carolina, he 
fays " It mail belong to Parliament to take care for t;he building 
" of churches, and the public maintenance of divines, to be em- 
" ployed in the exercife of religion, according to the Church of 
" England j which being the only true and orthodox, and the na- 

(< tional 


Truth cannot vary. If thefe opinions and afler- 
tions were well founded in 1739, they cannot now 
be ill founded ; though very different doctrines are 
now in vogue. What thefe Maryland patriots of 
other times conlidered as grounded on law, and there- 
fore facred and inviolable, their fucceflbrs confider 
as grounded only on their wills, and therefore neither 
facred nor inviolable. It might be invidious in me 
to draw any comparifons between the legiflators of 
1739 and 1771, in point of abilities and integrity ; 
but if you will be at the pains to look at the proceed- 
ings of their refpe6live aflemblies, you cannot fail to 
fee a ftriking difference between them. 
\ c So far from being (hocked at the idea of the in- 
juftice of robbing us of a third, or a half, of our ab~ 
folute freeholds, there are not wanting thofe who 
gravely talk of reducing our Order to the primitive 
liandard of the apoftolic age : and many are the pa- 
triotic harangues which ^re daily delivered to you 
on this popular fubjecl. I cannot perfuade myfelf 
to give any other reply to thefe curious declaimers 
than by obferving, that whenever they fhall be 
pleafed to fet us the example, and reduce themfelves 
to the ftandard of thofe to whom the apoitles preached, 
we will no longer hefitate to emulate the felf-denial 
and the humility of the apoftles. Need I inform 

" tional religion of all the King's dominions, is fo of Carolina, and 
" therefore it alone fhall be allowed to receive public maintenance 
" by grant of Parliament." 

Q theft 


thefe Gentlemen, that to do this, they muft fell all 
they have, and give to the poor, and follow us ? 

I mean not to call in queftion the competency of 
any legiflature to enact laws affecting private pro- 
perty, when fuch laws may be neceflary for the 
public weal. Their omnipotency is acknowledged 
as to every thing, excepting, I hope, that they can- 
not or will not be partial and unjiift. To whatever 
burthens they may fee fit to fubject us we have no 
right to object, provided only they are impartial and 
general : but they have no right to impofe particular 
burthens ori an individual, or any number of indivi- 
duals ; nor even to revoke or refume what themfelves 
may have granted, if there has been no violation of 
the conditions on which it was granted. I came 
among you on the fanction and encouragement held 
out to me by the public law of the land : incorporated 
myfelf with you by a kind of compact ; by which I 
flipulated faithfully to perform the duties of a parifh 
prieft, on the fair condition of receiving that flipend 
which the exifting law fecured to me, I contend, 
therefore, that, in good faith as well as in common 
prudence, I clearly have as good a title to all the 
emoluments arifing to me under the authority of that 
law from my benefice, as any other man has to any 
other eftate. That the law may be altered with 
refpect to future incumbents, is not denied : the 
doing fo would perhaps be unwife ; but, with refpect 
to Clergymen now living, it is manifeflly unjuft: and 
it fhould be well confidered what may be the confe- 


REVENUE d Tttfi CLERGY. 22^ 

cjuences of thus openly violating all the common prin- 
ciples of good faith and honour. 

But the people (we are told) have been led to ex* 
peel to pay off the Clergy's dues at four fhillings pet 
taxable * ; and it may be dangerous to difappoint 
them. Hence it is to be underftood, that whenever 
& point is to be carried, the party efpoufing it have 
but to inftruct that docile part of the community, 
whom they may fee fit to call the people, to expect 
it ; (no matter what addrefs and management are 
employed to raife the expectation, no matter whe- 
ther the thing propofed be either juft or wife 5 ) the 
people muft not be difappointed. For a man, at the 
eve of an election, to give out that he ivitt follow the 
inftfuflions of his conftituents, though againft his private 
opinion, however ridiculous, however bafe, may per*- 
haps, with other fmefTes, be overlooked, becaufe, alas ! 
the cafe is not uncommon. But for any man, or 

* All males, and all black females, between l6 and 60, were 
taxed, and indeed the chief objefts of all public afleffments : being 
all regularly numbered, the public taxes were levied according to 
the number of fuch taxable perfons which each proprietor poffefTeeL 
In Maryland the revenues of the Clergy were at firft fettled at the 
fate of 4olbs of tobacco to be paid by each taxable perfon in each 
parifh : thefe 4olbs of tobacco, on the palling of the Infpe&ion Law* 
were reduced to 30 ; thirty pounds of infpefted tobacco being 
deemed to be of equal value to forty pounds of uninfpected* At 
the period now under confideration, this tithe in kind was com* 
muted for a payment in money ; by which the Clergy, in almoft 
every inflance, were fure to be lofers, with hardly a poffibiJity 
of gaining in any* 

Qt a body 


body of men, firft artfully to excite a popular clamour, 
and then, on an important occafion, to profefs to be 
guided by that clamour, is fuch an inftance of profli- 
gate double 'dealing, as, in any other cafe, even the 
loweft of the people would fee through and defpife. 
It was thus that Pontius Pilate firft inftru&ed the 
people to call for the blood of their Redeemer, and 
then crucified him to fleafe the feofle. 

It is in your power and therefore it is incumbent 
on you to fet me right if I am wrong, when I de- 
clare it to be my firm belief, that thofe inhabitants 
of this province, whom alone it is proper to call the 
people, are by no means particularly defirous of this 
particular reform. It fuits our popular men, as they 
wifh to be called, to have it believed, that the peo- 
ple are with them, and therefore it is fo reported. 
Hitherto, however, we have had no evidence of this 
being the faclbut the declaration of interefted men. 
Many of you, I know, do approve of the meafure ; 
becaufe, in all communities, there are numbers ever 
ready to come into any fcheme by which they may 
fave their money. But I alfo know, that there are 
Hill more who like it almoft as little as I do ; who fee 
and reflect, that the pretence of relieving the people 
is but a pretence. In this parifh there are between 
twelve and thirteen hundred taxables ; two thirds of 
whom are richer than I am. Now, by this goodly 
project thefe two thirds alfo, as well as the poorer 
one third, are all to be relieved at my expence alone. 

It might be expedled that, in an act exprefsly 



famed for tie relief of the people, the poorer any 
man was, the greater fhare he fhould have in the 
benefits expected to refult from the act. But in the 
regulation now propofed it is juft the reverfe. A 
poor man, who pays for but one taxable, may fave 
perhaps a {hilling or two in the year by it : whilft 
the projectors of it compliment thcmfelves with ten, 
twenty, or an hundred times that fum. Having no 
interefls diflinct from the true interefts of this our 
common country, I could be contented chearfully to 
bear any burthen (as I now do) in common with my 
fellow- fubjects, for the fupport of government, or the 
general advantage of the province. But it is furely 
hard to be thus fingled out, directed, and ordered, 
how much of my undoubted property I (hall give 
away, and to whom. And it is a tax on my charity, 
equally unwife and unjuft, to oblige me, for every 
lixpence I beftow on the poor, to beflow forty times 
as much on the rich. 

The afTeffment of Aolbs of uninfpected tobacco 
per taxable, for the maintenance of an eftablifhed 
Clergy, is certainly, like the firft offerings that were 
ever made on a religious account, in the nature of a 
tithe ; and intended to be paid here, as in all other 
countries, /';/ kind. But, for the mutual convenience 
of the parifhioners and the minifter, there are forne 
parifhes fo particularly circumflanced, that money 
has ufually been, and is ftill, taken in lieu of the tithe 
}n kind. In all fuch cafes the compofition is gene- 
rally fettled at a rate which is thought equivalent. 


or nearly equivalent, to the value of the tithe : and 
it is evident how difficult it muil be to fix fuch rates 
which depend on the value of a fluctuating commo- 
dity, for any length of time, without lofs to one or 
other of the contracting parties. The Clergy of 
Maryland will, therefore, be careful how they fur- 
render their claim to tithe in kind for any fpecified 
fum of money whatever : it being perhaps capable of 
demonflration, that no carnal increafe of taxables 
bears any proportion to the certain decreafe of the 
value of money. Tobacco is probably a more fluc- 
tuating, and doubtlels a far lefs certain commodity, 
than any of the produces of the earth that have ever 
been tithed ; ftilj, however, even tobacco is more 
likely to keep pace with other articles of neceflary 
ufe, than any fixed fum of a provincial paper- currency. 
Eftablifhments fupported by payments in money are, 
at leaft, unufual, and, in various points of view,. liable 
to many objections. In no way can they be regu- 
lated, fo as not to want ft ill farther regulating in a 
very few years : and it feems to be incongruous with 
the idea of an eftablijbment, that it fhould be unftable* 
No money is of any certain, perpetual, intrinfic va- 
lue: and a temporary, local, provincial paper cur- 
rency is ftill more uncertain than fterling money. 
It is not impoflible, but that a pound in Maryland 
may become of as little value as a pound in fome of 
the New England governments. Admitting then 
that two hundred pounds currency a year, which, it 
feems ; is now thpught a liberal allowance, were really 



ib, (though more than that fum might have been re- 
ceived from the common interefl of the money ex- 
pended in educating fome of us, without finking the 
principal^) how will our fucceflbrs be in a condition 
to fupport their ftations with decency, when the fame 
denomination of money may not anfvver to an half, 
a quarter, or a tenth of that fum ? Money payments 
might, for aught I know, be as acceptable, if not 
more fo, to many of the prefent Clergy, as tobacco : 
but, a century hence, any payment of money that is 
now only adequate, muft become utterly inadequate. 
It is well known, that every neceflary and conve- 
nicncy of life has rifen hardly lefs than tenfold ; or 
(which is the fame thing) the value of money has 
decreafed in that proportion within the laft hundred 
years. So that I fee no paradox in averting, that a 
Clergyman pofTefled of a benefice which, an hundred 
years ago, brought in one hundred pounds per an- 
num, was better provided for, and to all intents and 
purpofes a richer man, than his fucceflbr in the fame 
living, who may now happen to receive five or fix 
times that fum *. 

Such a country as this is well able to fupport the 

* " Since money is of no other ufe than as it is the thing with 
" which we purchafe the necefiaries and conveniences of life, it is 
" evident that if 5. in Henry VJ/s days, would purchafe 5 quarters 
" of wheat, 4 hogfheads of beer, and 6 yards of cloth, he who then 
" had $ . in his pocket was full as rich a man as he who now has 
" 2Q - if w ith t ^ iat 2Of h e now can purchafe no more wheat, beer, 

" or cloth, than the other." Bp. Fleetwood's Chranicon Pre- 

ciofum, p, 49. 

Q 4 dignity 


dignity of Government and the independency of it's 
Officers; to pay Lawyers of merit (of whom there are 
many in the province) with liberality ; and to main- 
tain a reputable Clergy in a decent and even dignified 
manner. It has often ftruck me, that the people of 
this country are not fufficiently aware of the impor- 
tance of externals in religion. Excepting the pro- 
vifion made for the maintenance of minifters, (which 
merely through a change of circumftances during a 
long courfe of years has in fome inftances become con- 
fiderableand handfome,) every thing relatingto religion 
is formed on a narrow and contracted fcale. Our 
churches, in general, are ordinary and mean buildings; 
compofed of wood ; without fpires or towers, or fteeples, 
or bells; and placed, for the moil part, (like thofe of 
our remoteft anceftors in Great Britain,) no longer 
perhaps in the depths of forefts, yet ftill in retired and 
folitary fpots, and contiguous to fprings or wells. With- 
in them there is rarely even an attempt to introduce any 
ornaments: it is almofl as uncommon to find a church 
in Maryland that has any communion plate, as it is 
in England to find one that has not : in both Virginia 
and Maryland there are not fix organs; the pfalmody 
is every where ordinary and mean, and in not a few 
places there is none. To minds of a certain caft, I 
am aware it may feem beneath me to have adverted 
io fuch circumftances : it will be thought perhaps 
ftill lefs creditable either to my undemanding or my 
tafte to own, that I have felt and lamented the want 
of fuch natural and obvious aids to devotion. Yet 

I am 


I am convinced the fervices of religion may be too 
naked and unadorned, as well as they may be over- 
loaclen with pomp and ceremony. We are formed 
to be moved by what we fee, as well as by what we 
hear: and the judgment is often convinced, as well 
as the affections warmed, through the medium of the 
fenfes. All thefe coniiderations would be attended 
to by a people and a legiflature of large and compre- 
henfive views. 

It is mean and illiberal to talk of ftinting Clergy- 
men to a bare fupport. We are often by birth, and 
always by education and profeflion, gentlemen : and 
if the eflablifhmcnt of fuch an order of men be of 
moment to the welfare of fociety, (as it unqueftionably 
is,) fociety is much concerned to fee that means be 
provided to enable us to live in a decorous and ex- 
emplary ftyle *. In vulgar reckoning, a mean con- 
dition befpeaks a mean man. And though it be 
undoubtedly right that perfonal refpedl fhould fol- 
low perfonal merit alone, yet, while human paflions 
and human policy have fo much to fay in thefe af- 
fairs, we cannot be ignorant how all fnch points 
will be determined. The quefiion is not, how a 

* " I am not poflefled of an exa& common meafure between 
<* fervice and reward. The fervice of the public is a thing which 
" cannot be put to auction, and ftruck down to thofe who will agree 
" to execute it the cheapeft. \Vhen the proportion between fervice 
*' and rewards is our object, we mud always confider of what na- 
" ture the fervice is, and what fort of men thofe are who muft 

" perform it." Mr. Burke's Speech on Reform in 1780, p. 53. 

4 Clergyman, 


Clergyman, when poor, ought to be regarded, but 
how he will be regarded : and againfl the contempt 
of poverty no age has ever found a remedy, no abi- 
lity a defence, nor any virtue a (heller. It is not 
only an evil in itfelf, but it is contagious, and brings 
every thing into contempt which appears to be con- 
nected with it. When it has rendered the man 
contemptible, his funclion foon (hares the fame fate. 
And when our functions become involved in our 
perfonal difgrace, the religion, of which we are mi- 
nifters, cannot long efcape ; at lead not among the 
bulk of mankind, who feldom fcparate the efTentials 
of religion from it's external circumftances. As long 
therefore as you ftill think it right to keep up an 
eftablifhed miniftry, it is to be hoped you will be fo 
confident with yourfelves as to keep up one that 
may be refpeclable ; one in which frugality may 
obtain independence, and virtue procure elteem *. 

The utmoft that the mod able and careful of the 
Clergy in Maryland can expect is, to live decently 
in a private way, and to educate their children in 
fuch a manner as that by their own indufhy, and a 

* ,," for he (viz. Julian the apoftate) robbed the church, 

te and fpoiled fpiritual perfons of their revenues, ,and took all from 
" them, whereon they might live ; and thereupon, in fhort time, 
" did follow great ignorance of true religion and the fervice of 
* c God, and thereby great decay of the Chriftian profefiion : far 
** none will apply themfelvcs, or their fons, or any other whom 
" they have in charge, to the ftudy of divinity, when they mail 
w have, after long and painful ftudy, nothing to live upon." 
Coke's Reports, part 2. See Bp, of Winchefter's Cafe, p. 45. 



finall portion., they may be able to live above con- 
tempt when we are gone. We are not the men 
who may hope to get eftates, and lay foundations for 
building up families by the gains of our profeffion, 
though we every day fee fortunes made by other 
profeffions. Look round the province : who are the 
perfons now pofleffed of your great eftates ? Are 
they not, in general, the fons either of men who 
have held places under Government, or of lawyers, 
phyiicians, or merchants ? This is not faid becaufe 
I think either the fathers or the fons were to be 
blamed. Far from blaming, I heartily commend the 
one, and congratulate the other. But where, I afk, 
where is the eftate acquired by a Clergyman from 
the gains of his profeffion ? Yet you will hardly 
deny, that many of our Order have been men of fuch 
abilities, that, had they chanced to have been bred to 
other callings, they might probably have made as 
good a figure, and amaffed as large eflates, as others 
have done. 

I am no advocate for large revenues to the Clergy, 
nor do I indeed believe that there arc many fuch in 
Maryland ; though the contrary, I know, is the ge- 
neral opinion. And yet, in every other profeffion, 
the perfons engaged in them receive infinitely greater 
incomes, without being either cenfured or envied. 
You will pardon my obferving to you, that, in every 
other department, there have been complaints of 
abufes ; but I have the fatisfaclion to find that no 
infmuations of this fort have yet been thrown out 

again ft 


againft your Clergy. In truth, it is well known to 
be out of the power of the molt avaricious, ill-minded, 
or artful Clergyman, as fuch, to over- reach the mean- 
eft inhabitant of his paridi. 

An income is large or fmall, as it exceeds, or falls 
fhort of^ what will maintain him who receives it re- 
putably in the country in which he refides. Judg- 
ing by this principle, there is not in the province 
more than one parifh greatly, if at all, too large. 
That one exceptcd, fo far from being an (e oljeft of 
envy to an Engtijb Infoop *," there is hardly another 
which produces to the incumbent an income equal 
to that of an attorney in tolerable practice. And 
even of that one it is unfair to judge by the reported 
number of taxables. Between the lift of taxables, as 
let down in the fheriff's books, and what the incum- 
bent actually receives, it is well known there is a 
wide difference. 

However much the revenue of the Church is 
magnified, a fair ftatement of her receipts would 
fhew you, that the aggregate or fum-total of her 
eftate is inadequate to the maintenance of a compe- 
tent number of reputable Clergymen. We have but 
forty-four beneficed Clergymen ; and even in this our 
infant ftate twice that number would be inadequate 
to the exgencies of the province. As we increafe in 

* This was one of the vehement expreflions made ufe of by a 
popular orator, in the debates on this queflion in the Maryland 



population, the number of our parifhes and churches 
fnould alfo be increafed : for it never can be thought 
that religious inftru&ion is fufficiently communicated 
till every man, who is fo difpofed, may have it in his 
power, with his family, conveniently to attend divine 
fervice at the leaf! once in every week. Every parifh 
is too large, as long as there is a parifhioner diflant 
more than four or five miles from a church where 
there is fervice every Sunday : but, at prefent, moft 
of our parifhes have two churches, in which duty is 
alternately performed every other Sunday : in feveral 
parifhes there are three churches ; and of courfe, fer- 
vice only once in three weeks. However indifpofed, 
in general, to hafty reforms, I cannot but allow that 
this is a cafe which calls loudly for reformation ; and 
the obvious means to redrefs the grievance is to 
divide fuch parifhes, and, out of one over-grown 
parifh, to form two or three that are more compact 
and manageable. Much has been faid of the drudgery 
which fome officiating Curates in England undergo: 
but what are their labours and their toils compared 
with thofe of a confcientious incumbent in Virginia 
or Maryland ; who, befides occafional duties, which 
are oftentimes of a kind unknown in England, and 
lie wide and far from his home, can rarely attend one 
of his churches without firft riding perhaps ten or 
twenty miles ? By letting the revenue allotted to 
the Church remain in it's prefent form, all thefe in- 
con veniencies might in time be removed, and with- 
out adding to the burthens of the people : as, in 



fome few inftances, has heretofore been the CafeV 
But if, through this luft of innovation, you novV 
fufFer her forty per poll to be wantonly and injudi-^ 
cioufly new-modelled in any fuch way as is now 
propofed, centuries may pafs before fo neceflary and 
ufeful a reform can be hoped for, on any reafonable 
ground of expectation. 

Indrucled by that arch reformer, Henry VIII, our 
modern invaders of the property of the Church, not 
contented to rely on the natural ficklenefs of man-* 
kind, and their habitual propenfity to change, artfully 
appeal to your felfifhnefs : and thus, by the feducing 
allurement of Ibme immediate little favings, hope to 
bring you over to countenance a fcheme which will 
for ever keep down the Church of England. I am 
aftonifhed her friends have not feen through the 
plot, and taken the alarm. The Lower Houfe of Af- 
fembly appears to be under no fuch apprehenfions ; 
or, if they forefee the fate of the Church^ they are 
contented fhe fhould fall. By fome logic of their 
own, their conferees * hav 7 e found out, that " none of 
" our parifhes are fo inconfiderable but that the 
" worft is too good for the woril Clergyman." What I 
is it the wifdom and the policy of the legiflature of 
Maryland to keep fome bad parifhes merely for the 
fake of punifhing fome bad Clergymen ! Surely, for 
fuch men (if fuch there be) any parim is too good : 

* The term given to thofe members of the Lower Houfe of 
Afiembly, who were occafionally chofen and deputed to confer, ort 
points of moment and difficulty, with the Upper Houfe. 



and the punifhment is contrived to fall heavier on the 
poor parifhioners than on their undeferving paftor. 

To this novel reafoning of the " conferees," per- 
mit me, as no un-apt conclufion to this fermon, to 
apply a paflage from a fpeech of Sir Benjamin Rud- 
yard's, in the Houfe of Commons in 1628. 

" For fcandalous minifters, there is no man fhall 
" be more fincerely defiroiis to have them punifhed 
" than J will be. But, fir, let us deal with them as 
" God hath dealt with us ; who, before he made man, 
" made the world an handfome place for him to dwell 
" in. So, let us provide for them competent livings, 
ic and then punifh them in God's name : but, till 
" then, fcandalous livings cannot but have fcanda- 
" lous minifters. It fhall ever be a rule with me, 
" that where the Church and the Commonwealth 
" are both of the fame religion, it is comely and de- 
" cent that the outward fplendour of the Church 
" fhould bear a proportion and participate in the 
" profperity of the temporal ftate : for, why fhould 
" we dwell in houfes of cedar, and fuffer God to 
dwell in fkins ?" 

It may be proper (though it certainly is mortifying) 
to add to this difcourfe, that (as though it had been 
the fate of its author, like Caflandra, to preach and 
prophefy in vain) the reduction which it was meant 
to oppofe, fbon after it was delivered, pafled into a 
law, fo far at leafl as the Clergy were concerned ; 
with the concurrence, though certainly not with the 



approbation, of the Governor and the Upper Houfe- 
They, no doubt, flattered themfelves that, by gratify- 
ing the popular humour in this point, they fhould 
quiet the people on other topics. Jufl fo our ill-fated 
monarch, Charles I, reafoned with himfelf, when, in 
an evil hour, he fet his hand to the bill which brought 
iis faithful miniiter, Strafford, to the block. 

This bill, by which the Church in Maryland was 
levelled to the ground, pafled in 1772. Far from 
fatiating the ever-craving appetite of the reformers, 
it encouraged them to proceed in their career : and 
very foon after they attempted thofe farther reforms 
which ended in the deflrudlion of the civil power. 





WHEN this Sermon was delivered, the Catholics 
of Maryland (who were at that time, both in point of 
property and refpcdtability, of no ordinary weight in 
the community) feemed to hefitate and to be unre- 
folved what part they fhould take in the great com- 
motions of their country, which were then beginning. 
Their principles, no doubt, led them to fide with 
Government ; whilft their inclinations, and (as they 
then thought) their intereft, made it their policy to 
be neutral : but it foon became eafy to forefee that 
neither they, nor any others, would long be permitted 
to enjoy a neutrality. Important and interefling to 
them as the decifion was, it was a queftion that could 
be determined only by prudential confederations. 
The perfons in America who were the moil oppofed 

* Preached in Queen Anne's Parifh, Prince George's County, 
Maryland, in the year 1774. 

R to 


to Great Britain, had alfo, in general, diftinguiflied 
themfelves by being particularly hoftile to Catholics ; 
but then, though diflentcrs and republicans were 
their enemies, the friends of Government could 
hardly be faid to be their friends. In America, if 
they joined Government, all they had to look for was 
to be bitterly perfecuted by one party, and to be 
deferted by the other. Hence, for fome time, they 
appeared to be wavering and undetermined. This ir- 
refolution drew down on them many fufpicions, cen- 
fures, and threats. In order to fave them from per- 
fecution, and to inrpire them with ideas favourable to 
Government, this difcourfe was compofed. 

At length a Catholic gentleman, of good abilities, 
who was poffefled of one of the firft fortunes in that 
country (in fhort, the Duke of Norfolk, of Maryland), 
adhiated, as was generally thought, folely by his de- 
lire to become a public man, for which he was un- 
queftionably well qualified^ openly efpoufed the caufe 
of Congrefs. Soon after, he became a member of 
that body. This feemed to fettle the wavering dif- 
pofition of the Catholics of Maryland : under fo re- 
fpedlable a leader as Mr. Caroll, they all foon (at 
leaft in appearance) became good Whigs, and con- 
curred with their fellow-revolution ifts in declaiming 
againft the mifgovernment of Great Britain ; nay, 
they muft have concurred in thofe very declarations 
which adduced the Quebec Adi, by which the Papifts 
in that province (almoft the whole of it's inhabitants) 
were tolerated, as a flagrant inilance of her def- 

6 potifm 


potlfm and tyranny *. After this, it is certainly of 
Very inferior moment to mention another inftance 
which fhews how true the old obfervation is, that frefh 
converts always go the greateft lengths; yet, as it could 
not but make a flrong impreflion on the mind of the 
Author, he cannot forbear relating, that, foon after 
the delivery of this Sermon, a parifhioner of his, who 
was a Catholic, officioufly and eagerly flepped for- 
ward as a witnefs againft him, before a committee at 
Annapolis, where, with great virulence, he preferred 
a charge, by which it was hoped the Author's ini 
micality to America might have been proved. 

It is a common remark, that, however acceptable 
the treafon may be, even rebels rarely like the 
traitor. All that the Catholics of Maryland feem 
yet to have gained by their compliance, is, that they 
were not driven into exile, nor their property con- 
fifcated. I have not heard that they have in ge- 
neral been tmfted, like others, by their new allies ; 
much lefs that they have been diftinguifhed by any 
favours. Their Leader, indeed, has been a Member 
of Congrefs, and was once employed on an embafly : 
a relation of his, moreover, is now the Popifh Bifhop 
in the State. This Bifhop is fpoken of as a man of 
worth and abilities ; and fome things which I 
have feen of his writing prove that he is a re- 
fpedtable man. Under the prevailing latitudinarian 
principles of the Government of Maryland, they, like 

* See Almon's Remembrancer, voL i. p. 141, and 143. 

R a other 


other religion ifts, are no longer molefted on account 
of their religion ; nor are they ftigmatifed by any 
legal difqualifications. Still 1 do not hear of their 
having any weight or influence, as a body, in the 
State: fo that as to any great privileges of citizen- 
fhip which they have yet enjoyed, their emancipa- 
tion (the term which they were fbon taught to give 
to their being taken out of the protection of the 
Government of Great Britain) has been rather nominal 
than real. 

The impolicy, however, of their new mafters is no 
vindication of that of their old ones. Like far too 
many ill-informed and ill-judging men of almoft all 
religions, Catholics had not. the fortitude to withftand 
a rebellion which was already begun : but, with all 
the bad principles refpecling Civil Government fo 
frequently imputed to them, they are clear of any 
fufpicion of having begun that in America ; nor 
have they been found to be either refraclory or tur- 
bulent fubjecls under a Government of which it rs 
hardly poffible that they can cordially approve. 



. v. ver. 9. 
-for tie Jews have no dealings with tie Samaritans. 


R. CLARKE is of opinion that this declara- 
tion was not made, either by our Saviour, or by. the 
woman at the well with whom he was converting ; 
but that it is merely an obfervation of the Evangelift. 
Be this as it may, it reds on an hiftorical fact of 
fufficient notoriety. The long and great mifunder- 
ftanding that fubfifted between thefe two kindred, 
neighbouring, and united nations, makes no incon- 
fiderable part of their hiftory. It originated with the 
revolt of Jeroboam : and it muft be owned that 
the Samaritans, who were the defcendants of the ten 
tribes who then went off from the general union, 
gave the firft provocation. But it is remarkable, that 
the Jews, who were not the offending party, and 
who alfb were of the true church, appear, from the 
text, to have been moft active in keeping up the 
national enmity. That the Samaritans were alfo 
indifpofed towards the Jews, and 'never lived in any 
habits of intimacy or friendly intercourfe with them, 
is more than mere conjecture : for, when our Saviour 
would have entered into one of their villages, they 
would not receive him, becaufe his face wqs as though 

R 3 I* 


be would gQ to Jerufalem. No doubt they took him 
for a Jew going up to Jerufalem, to worfhip there at 
the feaft of the PafTover ; and for that reafon they 
withheld from him even the common offices of ci- 
vility. And here, in the text, the woman, confider- 
ing our Saviour merely as a Jew, hefitated to give 
him a little water to quench his thirft. 

Man is the creature of prejudice. A writer of 
no ordinary note * has taxed the whole fyftern of 
our education with being merely a fcheme to inftil 
prejudices into the infant mind. If by prejudices he 
meant, as it may be prefumed he did, nothing more 
than opinions taken -up on the credit of others, and 
without any examination of our own, I own I fee 
no reafon to be forry that we cannot deny the 
charge. For fuch is the conilitution of our nature, 
and the human mind is fo formed for imitation, 
that it is impoffible to keep it unimprefled and un- 
influenced by any ideas but fuch as it has itfelf 
previoufly examined. A thoufand notions and opi- 
nions are adopted, juit as walking, fpeaking, and 
other natural habits are, merely from feeing and 
hearing others advance and avow them. It is there- 
fore of infinite moment, that thofe to whom the 
fuperintendance of our early years is entrufted 
fhould be careful (I do not fay, not to forbear pre- 
judicing us at all, as that is impoffible, but) to pre- 
judice us only in favour of what, as far as human 
imperfedtion will permit, we know and believe to be 

* Roufieau. 



truth and virtue. Prejudice does not neccfTarily 
imply error: but, the misfortune is, man is, in all 
refpe&s, a fallen and frail creature. More liable at 
any time to be prejudiced in favour of what is wrong 
than what is right, we are alfo, alas 1 moil apt to be 
moil tenacious of what is wrong. Our mod un- 
reafonable prejudices are generally the ftrongeft ; and 
it is probably owing to that circumftance that the 
word has come to be generally underftood in a bad 

Of all our prejudices, none is more abfurd or more 
mifchievous than that common one which is called 
national prejudice; which leads us to diflike perfons, 
not becaufe they are unwife or unworthy, but becaufs 
they happen to have been born a few degrees to the 
north or fouth of us. As, however, the difcuffionof 
this error to any coniiderable extent might lead m$ 
to animadvert on that other great Heathen virtue, the 
love of our country, from which national prejudice 
undoubtedly originates, I wave it for the prcfent, 
and confine myfelf to the confideration of the more 
immediate fubjedl of my text, namely, religious pre- 

When we are perfuaded in our own minds of the 
redtitude of our own opinions, it is not unnatural for 
us to conclude, that all who do not entertain the fame 
are under a deluiion and in an error : and though, 
of all human infirmities, there is none which, in the 
eye of reafon, is more eminently entitled to be re- 
garded with candour than errors in judgment, it is 

R4 not 


not to be denied that there is none which ufbalty 
meets with lefs indulgence. But, religious clelufions 
and errors, which fhould be the moft readily par- 
doned, are, in general, the leaft fo : thoroughly con- 
vinced that our own opinions are well founded, we 
can hardly avoid thinking unfavourably of thofe who 
in thofe points differ from u?, and concluding that 
in differing from us they alfo deviate from truth.. 
Hence our impatience on fuch occafions may feem 
to be founded in a love of God, and a zeal for truth ; 
an anxiety for the public good, and a juft concern 
for the promotion of religion. 

But we fhould confider that neither our own opU 
nions, nor thofe of other men, are wholly; either in 
our power or theirs. It is every man's duty carefully 
to examine his opinions, and even his prejudices ; to. 
find out, if he can, which of them are well, and which 
of them ill-founded ; that he may retain the former, 
and rejcft the latter. Under this bias and this obli- 
gation to think and judge for ourfelves, our judgr 
ments can be determined only by our own con- 
vidlions. That we (hall often judge and determine 
wrong, is but too probable : but, as we humbly trull 
'that God will forgive fuch our involuntary errors, it 
is prefumptuous to doubt his being equally ready to 
forgive others who are equally liable to err. When 
-men have anxioufly fought the. truth, and lincerely 
embraced that which after fuch examination .has 
-appeared to them to be true, it would be little le(s 
than impious to fuppofe that they are not innocent 


in the fight of God, even though they fhould dill bq 
in error. 

Bat, alas ! it is not thus that man, fallible and frail 
as we all are, will condefcend to think and judge of 
man. Every man, \vhofe thoughts are not as our 
thoughts, is to us a Samaritan, with whom we refolvc 
to have no dealings. We forget that others have ju ft 
as much right to quarrel with us on the feore of our 
opinions, as we have to quarrel with them for theirs; 
that no perfons differ more from us than we differ 
from them ; and that therefore, if there be any fault 
or offence in a difference of opinion, it is as poflible 
that it may He on the one fide as on the other. 

There is not, as far as I can recollect, in all the 
Scriptures, a (ingle inftance of any pcrfon's having 
been cenfured folely on the ground of his being in 
error, unlcfs (as indeed was generally the cafe) an 
heterodox faith led to a wicked life. Some modern 
writers (who profcfs to be the advocates of toleration, 
whilft themfelves are diftinguifhed chiefly for their 
intolerance towards Chriftianity) have extolled the 
mild fpirit of Hcathenifm, as though it had been 
peculiarly indulgent to perfons of different religious 
creeds. This insinuation, like moil of thofe which 
are levelled againft truth and true religion, is not 
founded in fa 61. It is true that the introduction of 
that wretchedly abfurd fyitem of polytheifm, for which 
it is now well known thofe Romans who were moil 
diftinguifhed entertained almofl as little real refpect 
#s we do, into the countries which they conquered, 



was, in general, but a fecondary object with them-: 
but it is alfo true, that no fooner was their eagle dif- 
played in any of thofe countries which they added to 
the empire, than their gods followed. It was re- 
ferved for Chriftian truth to introduce Chriftian cha- 
rity (of which this mutual forbearance is an eflential 
part) in full force. 

In no part of the world, till Chriit came, was it 
properly underfrood. If in fome countries it was oc- 
cafionally practifed, it owed the little countenance it 
met with folely to considerations of political expedi- 
ency ; and rarely, if ever, to any fenle of duty, or 
motives of moral propriety. Even in Judea, where 
the true religion was known, the Scribes and Pharifees 
in particular cherifhed and inculcated this narrow 
potion, that the idolatrous Heathens, the grofs fol- 
lowers of the Roman mythology, the apoflate Samari^ 
tans, were all to be confidered as aliens, and enemies 
to their nation and religion ; and therefore meriting 
the treatment of aliens. But, when the gofpel was 
promulged, all mankind were literally made one 
people. All the partitions that had fo long divided 
and feparated them from each other were broken 
down : from wickednefs and wicked men alone were 
Chriftians to be eftranged ; and that only becaufe, as 
an apoftle fpeaks, " righteoufnefs can have no fel- 
lowfhip with unrighteoufnefs, nor light any com- 
munion with darknefs. 

The prevailing principle or doctrine of the reli- 
gion of Jefus is, that all mankind are intimately 



connoted together by their common wants and 
weaknefles ; and that we are fo formed that we can- 
not exift, at leaf! in fodety, without mutually afliftmg 
and being affifted by each other. In the idea of 
Chriitianity, the relation that fubfifts between man 
and man is as extenfive as our natures ; and the ob- 
ligations under which we all lie to aid one another by 
mutual good offices are as ftrong and urgent as every 
man's own manifold ncceffities. According to the 
different relations by which we (land connected with 
our fellow-men, fome no doubt are better entitled 
to our love and kindnefs than others ; but none (no, 
not even enemies) are to be wholly excluded. To a 
Chriftian, every man, how much foever apparently 
alienated from him by country, kindred, language, 
or religion, is a neighbour, a friend, and a brother!. 
To give him a title to thefe endearing diftin&iorrs, it 
is enough that he is a man, and more than enough 
that he is a Chriltian. 

Beiides all the weight which this tendernefs to- 
wards our fellow-creatures derives from the authority 
of evangelical precepts, it is ftill more ftrongly re- 
commended by the example of our blefTed Saviour ; 
who, if ever he was in any degree rigid and fevere 
towards fallen man, was fo only when he found men 
equally profligate in principle and in practice ; and 
whenever he fpake of opinions that were merely er- 
roneous, he fpake of them with tendernefs and 1 indul- 
gence. Hence, whilft he often taxes the Pharifees 



with their fypocrijy, he rarely, if ever, upbraids them 
with the error of their creed. 

It never can be fufficiently lamented that the fol- 
lowers of this perfect pattern of all that was pure, 
amiable, holy, and good, have not alfo followed him 
in this blefled fpirit. Of all the calamities which 
have fo long difgraccd and diflrefled the Chriftian 
world, thofe which have arifen from an intolerant and 
unchriitian temper in Chriftians are the greatefr. 
From this fountain not only bitter waters, but ft reams 
of blood, have -flowed. Millions of martyrs have 
fallen victims to it ; and there is not a Chriftian na- 
tion, whofe annals are not flained with foine fad hiftory 
of it's baneful confequences. It is far from my pur 
pofe to complain of any of thofe refactions and dif- 
qualifications of perfons profeffing particular opinions 
and tenets, which our legiflatures, in their wifdpm, 
have judged to be neceflary : I lament only that it 
cannot be done without fowing the feeds of jealoufy 
and diffenfion among us as individuals. No good 
man can reflect without pain on the noceflity which 
the State is under to make diftinclions as to the per- 
fons whom it may, or may not, be prudent and fafe to 
truft and employ : but the evil becomes dreadful 
only when the habit of making fuch in&ions 
pervades the private walks of fociety ; crumbling 
communities into parties and faclions, and tearing 
afunder all the endearing ties of neighbourhood, 
friend/hip, and relationfhip. 



It is the fair ftoafl of the prefent age, that the prin- 
ciples of toleration are carried to an height unknown 
to former periods. They have fprcad their happy in- 
fluence not only through Protcftant countries, (which, 
properly fpeaking, are Proteftant only when they are 
tolerant,) but have reached the dark and gloomy 
haunts of fuperftition and bigotry. Of all Voltaire's 
multifarious writings, there arc none which have done 
him fo much honour as his publications refpecling the 
ill-fated Galas. There is reafon to believe alfo, that 
our own Loeke owes no fmail portion of his celebrity 
to his Treat ife on Toleration. Since their times, a 
writer can hardly be named, who, whatever his fub- 
ject has been, has not found occafion to declaim 
againft intolerance. 

But dreadful as the fpirit of intolerance was in 
ancient times, it had, however, gained fo faft an hold 
on the Chriftian world, that it was hardly to be ex- 
peeled a complete reformation could be effected all 
at once. We acknowledge with gratitude that much 
has already been done towards it : but much more 
remains yet to be done. A fpirit of tolerance has 
hitherto manifefted itfelf chiefly in our books and in 
our convcrfation : I do not know that it has yet been 
any where carried into general practice, or any where 
made the prevailing habitual (yfiem and governing 
principle of our lives. 

What may be the character of the world at large, 
in this refpecl, it is neither impertinent nor ufeles 
for any man to enquire; but all that is of great mo- 


ment for us to know is how the cafe ftands among 
ourfelves. In profeffion we are unexceptionable ; 
and, as we fay, fo no doubt we think, we are equally fb 
in pradice. But may it not have happened that in 
this inftance, as well as in others, we think of ourselves 
more highly than we ought- to think ? There is among 
us a numerous and refpectable body of people, who, 
if applied to, mult, I fear, give a very different tefti- 
mony concerning us. I mean the defendants of the 
firft fet tiers of this province ; to whofe anceftors it 
was granted exprefsly as an afylum, where,, wearied 
and worn out with unrelenting perfecution, they 
hoped at length to be permitted to enjoy a refpite*. 
And here, even in times when toleration was ill un- 
derftood, and worfe pradlifed, when they ceafed to 
have the government of the country in their own 
hands, they were better protected and more coun- 
tenanced than their unoffending poficrity now are. 

I am aware that the toleration of Papifts is not 
among the topics moil commonly urged from a Pro- 
teitant pulpit. But the fubjecl has been forced on 
me, not only by my having long obferved, with much 
concern, many particular unkindneffes which we are 

* " Lord Baltimore was a Roman Catholic, and was induced to 
<e attempt this fertlement in America, in hopes of enjoying liberty 
** of confcience for himfelf, and, for fuch of his friends to whom the 
" feverity of the laws might loofen their ties to their country, and 
" make them prefer an eafy banifhrnent with freedom, to the con- 
< e veniencies of England, embittered as they were by the fharpnefs 
5* of the laws, and the popular odium which hung over them." 
European Settlements in America, vol. ii. p. 226. 



all of us far too ready to (Lew them folely on the 
fcore of their religion, but alfo by ibme late pro- 
ceedings* relating to them which have been the 
fubject of much popular clifcuflion. I am far, how- 
ever, from being reluctantly driven to it. I feel it to 
be my duty, not only as a man but as a Chriftian^ 
and (let me add) more particularly as a Protcftant 
minifter of the word of God, to recommend and 
praclife fuch toleration. And fo far am I for apo- 
logizing to you for thus publicly taking the part of 
an injured people, that I confefs to you I can hardly 
help blufhing for my brethren that it has been left to 
me, and I blufh for myfelf that I have not attempted 
it fooner. 

That Papills, in point of doclrine, are far gone in 
error, I am ready, if need be, again and again to 
ftand forward and to prove. But when, for your 
fakes, 1 have heretofore done this, it was to prefervc 
you from their errors, and by no means to exafperatc 
you againd their perfbns. However decided our dif- 
approbation of their tenets may be, I know of no 
right that we have to conftitute ourfclves their judges. 
Is it not misfortune enough to them that our legif- 
lature finds itfclf under a neceflity of fubjecling theiti 
to many legal reflriclions and difqualifications ? Is not 
their pertinacious adherence to certain points of doc- 
trine, which feem fo clearly to us to be either corrup- 

* This alludes to certain violent refolves of County Committees 
againft Papifts ; for which the pretence was, what was called, The 

Quebec Aft, 



tions or pervcrfions of Scripture, more than a diffident 
misfortune to them, without it's being aggravated by 
any unchriftian offices of ours ? Happy as we arc in 
belonging to a Church which (in doclrine at leait) 
may boad of being one of the founded and purcft in 
Chriftendom, it is, no doubt, our duty to defend and 
fupport it by every means in our power : but if it can 
be defended only by maligning, ill-ufing, and per- 
fccuting all thofe who are fo unfortunate as to differ 
from us, in God's name let it want defenders ! for, 
better will it be even that our Church fhould fall (were 
that poffible) rather than that Chriftian charity (hould 
be dedroyed. No true Church wants fuch aid ; and 
lead of all the Church of England. If (he did, 
perfecution may for a while keep up a falfe religion, 
as is the cafe with refpecl to Mahometanifm : but it 
always has been, and always will be, injurious to one 
that is true. In all her long lid of objectionable 
doclrines, none has done fuch dulervice even to the 
Church of Rome as her intolerance. Some of her 
own members have had the candour to acknowledge 
this, and the virtue to lament it. 

Wrong principles, and wrong practices, have never 
belonged exclulively to any particular age, nation, or 
religion. They are the reproach of every age, every 
nation, and every religion. There never was a time 
when none but Roman Catholics were perfecutors, 
or when all Roman Catholics were perfecutors. In 
all churches, as well as in all communities, there 
have always been weak and wicked men : and though 



it be true that no Chriftian Church either allows of, 
or will vindicate, intolerance, I more than fear that all 
Churches^ efpecially when in power, have been in- 
tolerant and perfecuting. In one fenfe, and in fome 
degree, we are intolerant, when, in the common 
offices of friendly intercourfe, we refufe to have any 
dealings with any refpeclable and worthy men, either 
as individuals, or in any corporate capacity, merely be- 
caufethey are of a different com mun ion from ourfelves. 
If, in our private capacities, (for in the eye of rea- 
fon and law we ftill acl: but in our private capaci- 
ties even when we are members of committees and 
conventions,) we muft needs be intermeddling witk 
the religious concerns of our Papift brethren, let it, I 
befeech you, be only in the way of companion ate 
and Chriftian remonftrance *. The beft way for us 
to manifefl our fuperiority over them is by (hewing, 
as it is greatly in our power to do, our better faith 
by (it's only true teft) our better works. " We 
" fhould" (fays theableft advocatef who ever under- 

* " We are too zealoufly attached to Proteftantifm not to op- 
" pofe the errors of the Church of Rome, as well in controverfial 
f * attacks, as in the more fuccefsful way of teaching the doctrines 
of our Apoftolical Church : adhering, at the fame time, invariably 
*' to the principles of the Reformation, which direct us to oppofe 
*' error of every kind by argument and perfuafion, and todifavow all 
" violence in the caufe of religion." Addrefs of the Archbifhop, 
Biftiops, and Clergy of the Province of Canterbury to the King 
in 1780. See Annual Regifter for 1781, p. 286. 

f Mr. Locke. 

S took 


took to plead the caufe of Toleration and recom- 
mend it to mankind) " make ufe of thofe arms 
" only that belong to us as Chriftians. We fhould 
* e follow the example of him, the Prince of Peace, 
" who fent out his foldiers to the fubduing of nations, 
* c and gathering them into his church, not armed 
" with the fvvord, or other inftruments of force, but 
if accoutred in that bed armour, the gofpel of peace, 
rf and the exemplary holinefs of Chriftian converfa- 
fc tion." In religion, all that religion allows is, that 
we may perfuade, but not command ; we may prefs, 
with arguments, but have no right to force by penal- 
ties ; we may admonifh, exhort, and (if we can) 
convince a brother of his being in error ; and it is our 
duty to ufe our beft endeavours fo to do : but if fuch 
means fail, (as, alas, they far too often do !) I know 
of no authority we have either from reafon or from 
Icripture to compel any man even to relinquifh 
error and to embrace truth. Compuliion is not al- 
lowed, not only becaufe even in it's aims it may be 
unreafonable and unjuft, but alfo becaufe it is the worft 
way we could poffibly take to produce conviction. 
That is the refult of fair and ftrong argument ; 
whereas all that compullion can produce is hypocri- 
tical conformity. By thefe means of Chriftian per- 
fuafion, applied with Chriftian prudence and Chrif- 
tian charity, and by thefe only, we may hope, in the 
hands of God, to become the humble but happy 
inftruments of turning the hearts of the (It/obedient to 
tie wifdom of the juft. And, O that ii would fhafe 


iim, the Father of mercies, to bring into the way of 
truth all fuel) as have erred and are deceived ! and 
alfb, deliver us all from all blmdnefs of heart ; from 
pride, vain glory, and hypocrify ; and from envy, 
hatred and malice, and all uncharitablenefs ! 

It may deferve to be noticed, that Mr. Locke, 
from whom fome of the ttrongcft of thefe fuggeflions 
in behalf of a more enlarged toleration have been 
adopted, was far from intending to have them urged 
in favour of Papifts ; who have feldom been regarded 
with the fame indulgence as other religious diflen- 
tients, either by him, or his followers. But, the ar- 
guments are as general as they are juft ; and not 
more applicable to diflcntients of one defcription, 
than they are to all. 

The toleration for which I plead is not political, 
but religious. It is neither alked nor wifhed that 
Diflenters of any kind fhould, as Legiflators, receive 
any new marks of public confidence and efteem : 
but I am much miftaken if it be not as confiflent 
with found policy, as it is with Chriftian chanty, to 
afk and vvifh that no Diflenter may, in any way, 
fufFer any pains and penalties, merely for being a re- 
ligious Diflenter. More than this, no reafonable, 
well-informed, or well-principled Diflenter will afk ; 
and lefs, no Chriftian State can confiftently think of 

The moft celebrated political writers concur with 
the ablefl ftatefmen in all ages and countries in ac- 
knowledging, that many and great evils would arife 

S 2 from 


from a State's {hewing equal countenance, and 
giving equal fupport, to all religions indiscriminately. 
Equally fatal to the religion and the morals of the 
people would be the introduction of that vifionary 
projecl of fome rafh theorifts, in whofe ideal dates 
oo preference fhould be fhewn to any particular 
fyftem of religion *. One confequence of fuch a 
fcheme mud be the giving countenance, fometimes 
perhaps to fyfterns unfavourable to good morals, and 
fometimes (it may be) to fyftems hoftile to the very 
State by which they are fupported, and deftruclive of 
all civil authority. The mod immediate confequence 


* It is not without extreme concern I ftate, that though the 
project here mentioned might have been fuppofed too wild even for 
modern politics to have thought of, it yet was adopted by moft of 
the New States of America. I think it hardly lefs remarkable, that 
Dr. Paley fpeaks of it as entitled, on the whole, to praife rather 
than to difpraife. See his Moral Philofophjr, 410 ed. p. 566. 
Without entering into a difpute with this great moralift as to the 
juilice or injuftice of his opinion on this qucftion, abftra&edly con- 
fidered, I wifh it might be determined, as in reafon I think it ought 
to be, from a fair view of the effects it has already had in the States 
of America. Now, the fact undoubtedly is, (as it was cafy to fore- 
fec it would be,) that the fcheme has already been found to be of 
the utmoft danger to real religion ; which, if it goes on much longer, 
it can hardly fail totally to deftroy. I am aflured (and on as good 
authority as the nature of the cafe admits of) that wherever the 
experiment has been tried, the people are diftinguifhable for an in- 
difference and unconcern about all religion. The inftances are faid 
to be not a few, of pcrfons who, after having alternately profefled 
themfelves of feveral different religious perfuafions, have come at 
laft to avow their total irreligion. 



of fo hazardous an experiment would be an extreme 
relaxation of principle, which, under the fpecious 
name of liberality of fentiment, would lead direclly 
to latitudinarianifm ; as that, in it's turn, would to 
indifference about every mode of worfhip ; and thus, 
in a regular progrefs, bring on general infidelity and 

But blefled above all others will thofe times be, 
when the three great bodies of Chriftians, who com- 
pofe a majority of the people of the Britifh empire, 
fhall be made one fold under one Shepherd : when Ca- 
tholics, Church of England men, and Prefbyterians, 
who all have but one country, may (at leaft in all it's 

As far as any clear and certain judgment can be formed, by com- 
paring the exaggerated applaufes of interefted panegyrifts, the pub- 
lifted accounts of the proceedings of their ecclefiaftical conventions, 
and other public documents, with the beft private information 
which I have been able to obtain, religion is indeed declining rapidly 
in many of the States. Thofe who, during their connexion with 
Great Britain, were contented to be called DiiTenters or Indepen- 
dents, are now pretty generally become, or are becoming, either 
Univerfal Reftitutionifts, Arians or Socinians, or elfe Philofophers, 
L e. Infidels. The few exceptions, who, either from found fenfc 
and fettled principles, or long eftablilhed habits, have not yet been 
reformed out of all religion, are faid to have gone over mo ft generally 
to the Methodifts ; but, in fome inftances, to the Church of Eng- 
land. Add to all this, that as no feminaries of learning, adequate 
to the education of a Miniftry for the whole Continent, have yet 
been provided by the Public ; as no learning, and above all, no 
theological learning, either yet is, or ever was, held in honour in the 
United States, there is too much reafon to apprehend, that, when 
the prefent race of old Ministers is worn out and extinct, their fuc- 
ceffors may be as illiterate as the people will be irreligious. 

S 3 great 


great effentials) have but one religion. And were 
we either as good Chriftians or as good Subjects as 
we ought to be, we certainly fhould (becaufe we 
eafily might) coalefce, and again unite in one general 
comprehenfive plan ; not to promote and fupport the 
little partial interefts of our own refpeclive focieties 
only, but for the maintenance of true religion and virtue 
at large, whether connected or not connected with 
eftablifhments, as the governing principle of the 

Unwilling to repeat grievances) I endeavour to for- 
get the long feries of oppreffions and wrongs which 
thefe unfortunate people have fuffered among us. 
Hardly a book on any article of religion has been 
written ; hardly a fermon on any controverted point 
lias been preached; hardly any public debates, or 
private converfations, have been held on the fubject 
of religion or of politics, in which (in the ftrange 
phrafe of a * noted puritan of the laft century) the 
parties have not contrived to have what he called 
" a thwack at Popery" We have exhibited them, as 
fome of their own communion are wont to exhibit 
thofe they call heretics, in an auto da fe ; in an horrid 
drefs disfigured with mongers and devils : or as an 
emperor of Rome, diftinguifhed for his cruelty, is 
faid to have exhibited the primitive Chriftians, when 
he wrapped them in the fkins of beafts, and then 
threw them into the area to be torn and devoured by 

* Daniel Eurgefs. 



Jions. " I wifh," (fays the learned Bifhop Sanderfon 
in his firft Sermon to the Clergy,) " I wifh there had 
(e been no advantage given them (the Papifts) for 
" triumphing in their innocency, and for perMing 
" in their obflinacy, by fome men's unjufl fcoffing at 
" them. It cannot but be fome confirmation to men 
" in error to fee men of diflblute and loofe behaviour, 
" with much violence and eagernefs, and petulancy, 
" fpeak againfl them. We know how much fcandal 
" and prejudice it is to a right good caufe, to be 
" either followed by peribns open to juft exception, 
" or maintained with flender and infufficient reafons, 
ft or profecuted with unreafonabh and indifcreet vio- 
" lence." 

Proud of the fuffrage of this learned and venerable 
Prelate, I am hardly lefs flattered by finding the 
clear, diftincl, and impartial Mofheim alfo declaring, 
that " more charity in the reformed would greatly 
" contribute to heal the breach, and diminifh the 
" weight and importance of thofe controverfies 
" which feparate them from the communion of the 
" Romifh Church." 

Bigots of all communions are the fame : and none 
are lefs charitable, or more intolerant, than certain 
declaimers * againft Popery ; who yet inceflantly rail 
at Papifts for their intolerance and bigotry. It was 
not, therefore, without fome indignation that I have 
lately feen a lefs liberal commentator f artfully en- 

* Quis tulerit Gracchos de feditione qucrcnte* ? Juv. 
t Archdeacon Blackburn, 

S 4 deavouring 


deavouring to explain away the obfervation of this 
eminent foreigner. Even this bitter enemy to Pa- 
pifts, however, thinks it fufficient to aflail Popery, 
not with open, fober, ferious, and folid argument, 
but by infinuations and farcafms thrown out with 
fuch a fpirit of intemperance as even Papifts might 
be afhamed of. Somewhere, in his Confeflional, he 
cafts a fneer on Archbifhop Wake, on account of his 
truly Catholic and Chriftian correfpondence with 
Du Pin, refpecling an union between the Gallican 
and Britifh Churches. Regardlefs either of the in- 
linuations or the open cenfures of all fuch bigots, I 
heiitate not to give it as my decided opinion, that a 
re-union of Proteftants and Papifts, on almoft any 
terms, is an event for which all good Chriftians are 
bound moft cordially to pray. Nay, I go ftill farther, 
and add, that, to effect fo good a purpofe as the de- 
flruction of feels and parties, and the difunion of 
men on the fcbre of religion in thefe realms, I fhould 
feel but little reluctance to make fome facrifices both 
to Popery and Prefbyterianifm. If I at all know 
my own heart, or the ftate of my own mind, I am, 
on conviction, a fincere member of the Church of 
England : yet am I not fo blindly partial as to think 
every thing wrong either in the Church of Rome, or 
in that of Scotland. On the fuppolition of a general 
re-union, they would have much to give up ; and we 
too (I humbly think) not a little. Independently of 
the ftrong motive of once more re-uniting us, I am 
far from pretending to be fure that it would not be 



right in us to do fo ; becaufe (to ufe the words of a 
great writer, * roundly condemned by the Confef- 
lionalift) " perhaps a middle Hate between what the 
" Church once was, and what it now is, may be the 
" condition mod defirable," 

In Leflie's Regale you may find a propofal and a 
plan for a general union between the Church of Eng- 
land, Catholics, and DifTenters. The author of the 
Confeffional calls the fcheme a " chimaera ;" and 
the propofer of it (c a nonjuror," and contemptible." 
That he was a non-juror his warm eft admirers will 
not deny, any more than the bittereft of his enemies 
can deny that fome of the wifeft, moft learned, and 
beft men of his age were alfo non- jurors. But that 
Leflie was, in any point of view, " contemptible," is 
a charge that will be hazarded by thofe only who 
have never read his works ; or who, having read 
them, have not themfelves either learning or li- 
berality fufficient to enable them to judge of their 
merit. Thofe works will live, and be admired, 
and do good, when- the captious and fplenetic pro- 
ductions of fuch writers as the Confeflionalift fhall 
long have been conligned to merited oblivion. If 
Leflie's project was chimerical, it was fo only from 
his thinking too well of his fellow-creatures. Let 
mankind but ceafe to be chimerical ; let them but 
learn to purfue realities with the fame ardour with 
which they now purfue ihadows ; let them but once 

* The eminent Mr. Charles Leflt'c. 



find out that their true intereft is to do that \vhicb it 
is their duty to do, and Lcflie's project will no longer 
be chimerical. 

And whenever, through God's mercy, fo bleffed an 
event fhall take place, then (to ufe this great man's 
words) "will thofe many and pious men in the 
" Church of Rome, who have laboured, and ftill do 
" wifh for a reformation among themfelves, but dare 
not pufh it on for fear of fplitting on the rock on 
which they fuppofe we have fplit, viz. the being 
torn to pieces by feels and parties, gladly avow 
" what they now fecretly but fincerely approve in 
" our reformation ; and we fhall find no fcruple to 
* ( amend what we find amifs on our fide : and on 
" all fides, fuch a temper will be put on, as to give 
61 us a profpect of a more glorious reformation than 
<' ever the Church has feen lince Conilantine firft 
" turned Chriftian *." 

Well-in fir ucled Proteftants lament and blame this 
un-proteilant behaviour of too many of their bre- 
thren. Averfe to the treating of Papiits with afperiry 
and rancour, they are contented to let their en- 
mity fall on Popery. In flrength and fairncfs of ar- 
gument, our belt Proteftant writers have given Ca- 
tholics no caufe of complaint ; excepting perhaps 
that their arguments have fo often been unanfwer- 
able. On no point of religion has fo much been 
written, as there has on the Popifh controveriy ; nor, 

* Leflie'i Regale, folio, p. 657. 



as I am proud to add, fo well : and thus much, I 
believe, no ingenuous Catholics would hefitate to 
own. The fuperiority of our arguments might long 
ago have brought them into our Church, had they 
not been kept out by our want of charity. That 
Catholics in general think Proteftants in general 
imreafonably prejudiced, and unjuftifiably bitter 
againft Catholics, is certain : I hope indeed that they 
think worfe of us than we really deferve ; but we 
cannot deny that we have given them fome caufe to 
think and fpeak of us as they do. And this their 
opinion of us, whether well or ill-founded, is tha 
grcateft, if not the only reafon, why Proteftantifm 
has yet made fo little progrefs in Catholic countries, 
and why Popery ftill has fo many votaries among 
ourfelves *. 

Inhere was no need thus to mifreprefent Papifts. 
Every man of a clear and uncorrupted understanding 
muft naturally revolt at the unaggravated deformity 
of many of their tenets. Their corruptions have 
been pointed out with fuch irrefiflible demonftration, 
that I can account for their not being generally re- 
jedled in no other way fo probably as by afligning 

* " Ce n'eft done pas fans raifon, qu'un Deifte (Roufieau) irritc 
" contre fes freres les Proteftans, leur a foutenu, que la Reformc a 
" cte intolerante des fon origine ; et que les Reformateurs font 
" promptement devenus Protecteurs." 

" Nous prions nos adverfaires de citer une ville, une bourgade, 
" un village, ou les novateurs, devenus les maitres, aient fouflert un 
" feul Catholique." Bergier, Traite de la vraie Religion, torn. 10, 

P. 4.6. it 


it to the caufe juft mentioned. It is no uncommon 
cafe for men to find friends and fupport, not fo much 
on the fcore of their own merit, as from the demerit 
of thofe who oppofe them. This I believe to be the 
cafe with Papifts ; fince, as to them, we feem to be 
Proteftants only in theory : in the worft and moit 
odious features of Popery, we are ftill unreformed ; 
we are bigots, uncharitable and intolerant ; we are 
perfecutors ; in fhort, we are Jeits, and have no deal- 
ings with the Samaritans. 

I do not exaggerate. This narrownefs of fpirit is 
difcernible, not only in our dealings with Papifts as 
individuals, but even in the temper and tenor of our 
laws. " Our Government" (as Mr. Locke acknow- 
ledges) " has not only been partial in matters of re- 
<c ligion, but partial in the pains and penalties in- 
" flicled on Papifts. We have need of more gene- 
" rous remedies than what have yet been made ufe of 
" in our diftemper. It is neither declarations of in- 
" diligence, nor acls of comprehenfion, fuch as have 
" yet been praclifed or projected among us, that can 
" do the work. The firft will but palliate, the fe- 
<c cond increafe our evil. Abfolute liberty, juft and 
" true liberty, equal and impartial liberty, is the thing 
" that we fland in need of." 

It is not in charge againft us, that we now* perfe- 
cute this unhappy people with fire and faggot, which 
have too often been their own weapons. This 
(blefled be God !) the mild temper of the times 
would not endure. But, we fubject them to untie* 



ceflary, unreafonable, and unjuft reftrictions and 
difqualifications : and every kind of difcountenancc 
or difcouragement, which is not abfolutely necefiary, 
is a fpecies of perfection. Their fubje&ion, how- 
ever, to ftricl teds, and exclufion from certain places 
of high truft and importance, are far from coming 
Under this defcription. Every well-conftituted State 
mud and will give a preference to fome particular 
iyftem of religion ; and of courfe will felecl: for it's 
preference that which it efteems the beft. If any of 
it's members difapprove of and diflent from the lyftem 
thus preferred and patronized by the State (which is 
one great evil refulting from a great good, fome dU 
verfity in our creeds being hardly avoidable in a free 
State,) whilil they are tolerated in their diflent, they 
may lament, but cannot blame, that they are fubjccted 
to fome degree of difcountenance and difcourage-/ 
ment. The State is anfwerable only for any unne- 
cefiary excefs of fuch difcouragements ; to God, if it 
exceeds the bounds of humanity and Chriftian cha- 
rity ; and to the conjmunity, if it be impolitic*. 


* Sir Richard Steele, in a letter to his wife, (fee his Works, 
tol. i. p. 149.) takes notice of her having heard a report that he 
was a Tory. The reafon which he fuppofes to have occafioned 
fuch a report is curious, and the more curious as coming from fo 
Haunch a Whig. " You know I have an unfamionablc thing called 
" confcience in all matters of judicature cr jafticc." 

He goes on to relate the particular occafion of thi* report, at 
follows : " There happened, a little while ago, a petition to be 
" brought into the Houfe of Commons from the Roman Catholic.?, 

" praying 


That every kind of perfecution is injurious to reli- 
gion, and therefore clifpleafing to God, has already 
been fhewn. There is, in fhort, and can be but one 
good reafon for fubjecling Diflenters of any denomi- 
nation to any civil reftraints ; and that is, becaufe the 
admitting them to a full participation of ibme peculiar 
privileges is incompatible with the general welfare. 
That it is as neceflary and as proper thus to difcoun- 
tenance Papifts, as it is any other Diflenters, I am 
not fo much their advocate as to difpute : but I do 
contend, that Papifts fhould, both of right and in 
point of prudence, be put upon a footing in this re- 
ipect with other Diftenters. It has, I am aware, fre- 
quently been aflerted, and with confidence, (but I 
own for one that I at leaft have never yet feen it fa- 
tisfadlorily proved,) that Papifts hold any tenets more 
dangerous to the State, than many that are held by 

" praying relief as to point of time, and the meaning of certain 
'* claufes which affected them. When there was a queftion juft 
" ready to be put upon this, as whether it fhould be rejected or not, 
" I ftood up and faid to this purpofe : 

" Mr. Speaker, 

" I cannot but be of opinion, that, to put feverities upon men, 
" merely on account of religion, is a mold grievous and unwarrant* 
" able proceeding. But, indeed, the Roman Catholics hold tenets 
" which are inconfiflent with the being and fafety of a Proteftant 
" people : for this reafon we are juftified in laying upon them the 
" penalties which Parliament from time to time has thought fit to 
" inflict. But, fir, let us not purfue Roman Catholics with the 
" fph-it of Roman Catholics, but act towards them with the temper 
" f our own religion.*' 



other Separates ; who yet arc treated (not, perhaps, 
with ail the lenity and forbearance which good po- 
licy and Chriftian charity would extend to them, but 
certainly) with a much more liberal toleration than 
has ever yet been fhewn to Papifts : and yet, ex- 
cepting in the prejudices of mankind, I own I fee no 
rcafon for an inftance of partiality fo mortifying to 
men who have not clcferved to be fo mortified. 
How far it is necefTary, wife, or juft in a State thus 
continually to facrifice it's own better judgment and 
better principles to fuch prejudices, the State bed 
knows. I hope it is no prefumptuous interference 
in State affairs for an obfcure individual to fay, that 
it appears to be, inoft palpably, an unchriflian policy ; 
and if it be unchriftian, it is alfo unwife *. 


* .. . It Is not to Popery that the laws object, but to 

" Popery as the mark of Jacobitifm ; an equivocal, indeed, and fal- 
41 lacious mark, but the beft and perhaps the only one that can be 
devifed. But it ftcuM be remembered, that as the conneaion 
** between Popery and Jacobitifm, which is the fole caufe of fuf- 
" picion, and the fole juilification of thofe fevere and jealous lawi 
which have been enacted again ft the profeflbrs of that religion, 
" was accidental in it's origin, fo probably it will be temporary in 
< it's duration ; and that thefe reftriftions ought not to continue a 
<<r day longer than forae vifible danger renders them necefTary to 

the prefervation of the public tranquillity." Paley's Moral 

Philofophy, 4to. p. 584. 

It feemeth reafonable and dutiful to grant what his Majefty de- 
* fireth may be done for him, viz. to take off the fanguinary law 
concerning religion, in fo far as they iafer the pains of death or 
forfeiture againft thofe of his perfuafiou merely for their religion ; 



Some of the moft exceptionable dogmas held by 
Catholics, and thofe which may be fuppofed moft 
likely to excite the jealoufy ofthe Legiflature, are thofe 
which we tax them with holding on the fubject of 
Civil Government. If our allegations are well founded, 
Papifts are, in general, not only friends- to the abdi- 
cated family that have fo long and fo idly pretended 
to the throne of thefe realms, but aifo are, from prin- 

'* and that the Papifts have an eafe and immunity from the execu- 
*' tion of the other penalties, civil or criminal, contained in the 
" laws, merely and allenarly for their religion, and exercife of 
" their worfhip in private houfes. This feemeth to us, who are 
" not lawyers, to be equitable and reafonable to be done, confider- 
* ing that the execution of fanguinary laws has fallen into an abfo- 
44 lute defuetude for many years paft ; and fince, upon doing hereof, 
" his Majefty is fo gracious as not to intend or dcfire the repealing 
" of any laws already made for the fecurity of the Proteftant re. 
<c ligion, but is willing further to eftablifh and confirm the fame, by 
'* any other laws or a&s of Parliament that can be made for that 
* c end. Nor do we fee any danger or infecurity arifing to our reli- 
" gion by fo doing, but rather an apparent benefit, by his Majefty 's 
<c confenting to a more full and ample fecurity thereof. And this 
" is but our own private opinion, for we cannot undertake to fay 
c< that this would be the opinion of others. For, as we are clearly 
'* determined, by God's grace, to continue firm and conftant in the 
*' reformed Proteftant religion to our lives' end, fo alfo are we to 
" ferve our mod gracious Sovereign, and to comply with his pro- 
" pofals and defires, as far as they do confift with the fafety of our 
<c confciences and religion, upon which weaffure ourfelveshis Ma- 
f< jefty's grace and goodnefs will never impofe.'* From the Addrefs 
of Primate Rofs of St. Andrews, and Bifhop Patterfon of Edin- 
burgh, to James the Second, See Skinner's Ecclefiaflical Hiftory 
of Scotland, vol. 2, p. 499. 



riple, partial to defpotifm. and favourers of arbitrary 
power. As for the firft of thefe charges, an attach- 
ment to the race of the Stuarts, fuppofmg it to be as 
general as is all edged, ftill it is by no means confined 
to Papifts. It has been remarked of that family, that, 
among it's other ftriking peculiarities, no royal per- 
fonages ever were diftinguifhed by having fo many 
friends of great merit personally attached to them. 
Readily admitting, however, that the fidelity of Pa- 
pifts to the molt unfortunate race of monarchs that 
ever fat on a throne reflects perhaps no credit on 
their worldly wifdom, I neither can nor will fo tamely 
accede to a low and vulgar prejudice, as alfo to admit 


The old laws of England again ft Papifts, though of that Sangui- 
nary kind (as Montefquieu obferves,) that they do all the harm 
that can pofiibly be done in cold blood, may yet be fufficiently ac- 
counted for, (if not in fome degree extenuated,) when we refer them 
to the urgency of the times in which they were enacted. Blackftone 
(b. iv. c. 4.) juftly obferves, that " the reftlefs machinations of the 
** Jefuits during the reign of Elizabeth, the turbulence and uneafi- 
" nefs of the Papifts under the new religious eftablifhment, and the 
*' beldnefs of their hopes and wifhes for the fucceffion of the Queen 
" of Scots, obliged the Parliament to counteract fo dangerous a 
" fpirit, by laws of a great and then perhaps neceflary fevcrity. 
" The powdcr-treafon in the fucceeding reign ftruck a panic into 
11 James I. which operated in different ways : it occafioned the 
" enacting of new laws againft the Papifls ; but deterred him from 
" putting them in execution. The intrigues of Queen Henrietta 
" in the reign of Charles I, the profpect of a Popifh fuccefTor in 
" that of Charles IT, the aflafiination plot in the reign of King 
" William, and the avowed claim of a Popifh Pretender to the 
' crown in that and fubfequent reigns, will account for the inten- 

T " won 


that it does them any real difhonour. However 
fafhionable it long has been, and ftill may be, to run 
down this truly illuftrious family, it fhould not be 
forgotten, that, for a long feries of years, they fhone 
the pride and the glory of Europe. WbiMt other 
crowned heads, in the unpropitious periods of feudal 
domination, were ambitious only to be ft-ared by their 
vaflals, it was the honourable pride of the Stuarts to 
be beloved by their fubjedls. In ages of barbarifm 
they became eminent, by their being not only lovers 
of learning, but men of learning : yet, by an un- 
common fatality, one of them, the ino-ft diflinguiflied 

" tion of thefe penalties at thofe feveral periods of our hifiory/' 
The learned commentator very humanely adds : " But if a time 
** mould ever arrive, and perhaps it is not very diflant, when all 
" fears of a Pretender (hall have vamAied, and the power of the 
" the Pope fliall become feeble, ridiculous* and defpicable, not only 
'* in England, but every kingdom of Europe ; it probably would not 
" then be amifs to review and foften thefe rigorous edicts." This 
period is now happily arrived; and it is not now in the power of 
every mercilefs bigot to drag down the vengeance of the law upon 
inoffenfive though miltaken fubje&s. By the Stat. 31 Geo. Ill, 
0.32, which may be called the Toleration Act of Roman Catho 
lies, all the fevere and cruel reftrictions and penalties are removed 
from thofe Roman Catholics who are willing to comply with the 
requifitions of the ftatute; which are, that they lhall appear at one 
of the Courts of Weftminfter, or at the Quarter Seflions of their 
county, and fubfcribe a declaration,, that they profefs the Roman 
Catholic religion ; and that they {hall take the of allegiance to 
his Majefty, abjuration of the Pretender, and renunciation of the 
Pope's civil power ; and abhorrence of the doctrines of destroying 
and not keeping faith with heretics, and depofing or murdering 
Princes excommunicated by authority of the fee of Rome. 



among them all for every thing that does honour to 
man in an enlightened age, loft his life on a fcaffold, 
murdered by his own fubjecls. Since the extinction 
of the race, they have become the objects almoft of 
national abhorrence, not becaufe that, of the two lad 
kings of their family, the one was an abandoned pro- 
fligate, and the other a wretched bigot ; but becaufe, 
during all their reigns, both they and their fubjecls 
fupported thofe high principles of prerogative which 
are now known only by their being the invariable 
topics of popular declamation. Still, however, amidft 
all the viciffitudes of their hiflory, every impartial 
man (now when at length we may, without fub- 
jedling ourfelves to any mean and foolifh fufpicions 
of an undue attachment, examine into and judge of 
their characters as we do of thofe of the Plantagenets 
or the Tudors) muft acknowledge, that many of the 
kings of the Stuart race were diftin^uifhed both by 
their abilities and their virtues ; and every man ca- 
pable of feeling, however he may rejoice that they are 
jio longer our monarchs, will fympathize with them in 
their unparalleled misfortunes. 

As to the pronenefs of Papifts to fubmit tamely to 
arbitrary power, even if the allegation were true, I 
own I cannot fee why it fhould expofe them at lead 
to the difpleafure of kings, and thofe that are fut in 
authority under them: inafmuch as fuch a principle, 
however abject it may be deemed, is certainly not 
calculated to overthrow, or even to diflurb, the peace 
of, any fettled government. But the charge is com- 
T ^ pletely 


pletely difproved, not only by the exprcfs difavowal of 
thofe againft whom it is alledged, but by the well- 
known pradtice of thoufands of individuals, as well as 
of fundry large communities. It is the general fault of 
difputants to pick out, and lay a ftrcfs on, objections 
not folid but popular : Papifts mud therefore count 
on having it always thrown in their teeth, that they 
are more difpofed than other men to crouch to tyrants, 
not becaufe the objectors believe it to be true, but 
becaufe they know the obje6\ion bids fair to be well 
received by the multitude. Time was when Papifls 
no doubt held many exceptionable opinions refpect- 
ing Government, as well as on other topics : nor dare 
I indulge the hope, that, even yet, all Papifts are 
exempted from all erroneous opinions on the fubject 
of Government. But they were not Papifts only, 
who doted on the fcholaftic dreams of a dark age. 
Nor has that glorious cfFufion of intellectual light, 
which we boaft has been fo amply and fo generally 
fpread abroad in the prefent age, been wholly hid 
from Papifts. There are, all over the world, and 
certainly among ourfelves, many members of the 
Church of Rome, who proteil as vehemently againft 
all illiberal and fervile dogmas as the fiauncheft Pro- 
teitant among us can do : and books might be re- 
ferred to, written by Catholics, fo eager in the caufe 
of liberty as to fatisfy (if on that topic any thing 
within the boundaries of common fenfe can fatisfy) 
even American Sons of Liberty.. The fact is, Catho- 
lics, like all other men, are, in their practice, not 



felclom at variance with their profeflion. Of courfe 
(vvhilft they conceive thcrnfelves to be in this refpecl 
as much at their liberty as we are) there is nothing 
very furprifing in our finding, among Papifis, many 
who have written both for and againft all the various 
notions about Government which have ever prevailed 
in any of the civilized countries in which Catholics 
have lived. If there be one principle which the Ca- 
tholic Church inculcates with more earneftnefs than 
another, it is the Chriflian doclrine of obedience. As 
long, therefore, as they act confidently with their 
religion, they muft be the friends of fettled govern- 
ment, ami adverfe to revolts and rebellion : no lefs 
inclined to defend republicanifrn, when that js the 
efiablifhed form of government under which they 
live, as it is in the Catholic cantons of Switzerland, 
than they are to defend monarchy in France, Spain, 
or Portugal. And furely, as loyal fubjecls, the peo- 
ple of thofe kingdoms are blamelefs*. It has been 
affirmed, that, in the laft century, there wore once no 
lefs than thirty general officers, all Catholics, in the 
fervice of the king : and a challenge was made, in 
their fovereign's prefence, for any man to name a 
fingle Catholic who had been falfe to him. And I 

* The Reader is requefled to recolleft, that this was written 
more than twenty years ago ; when it was generally thought in- 
finitely lefs probable that the powerful kingdom of France fliould 
ever be frittered down into a paltry republic, than, even at this 
moment, it is that, after a (hort but dreadful delirium, they fhould 
mmin become a great and happy peopk under $ grand monarquc. 


mufl take upon me again to aflert, that their difin- 
tereftcd and unfhaken fidelity to the unfortunate 
Houfe of Stuart, however miftaken, will^ in the opi- 
nion of every man of honour, do them honour. Their 
fufFerings prove at leaft their fincerity. And the 
Sacrifices they flill make, for confcience fake, of many 
worldly advantages, is fuch an inftance of firmnefs in 
a confcientious adherence to what they believe to be 
the truth, as, it mull be allowed, cannot be faid of all 
their oppofers. 

To bring this matter to a fhort iffue. Thoroughly 
perfuaded and convinced, as Catholics in general, as 
well as Proteflants in general, now are in their judg-. 
ments and their confciences, of the right of the family 
now on the throne to the crown of thefe realms, let 
an oath of allegiance, acknowledging that right, and 
pledging thernfelves to fupport and defend it, be 
framed, in terms as ftrong as the moft fufpicious of 
their adversaries can devife ; if it does not trench on 
extrinfic matters, which have no connexion with the 
duties of allegiance ; I will anfwer for them, (and 
I do fo not without fome authority,) that they will 
rejoice to have an opportunity of taking it. And if 
hereafter they be found difloyal or unfaithful fub-? 
jecls, or in any way difbbedient to the laws of the 
land, let them, in God's name, be punifhed accord- 
ingly. All they afk, and all that I prefume to afk 
for them, is, that they may not for ever be deprived of 
the common privileges of good fubjecls, merely on 



There have been, and probably there ftill are, 
among the great body of the Catholics, as there are 
in other communities, men who, on points which 
their Church has neither defined nor decided, enter- 
tain different, erroneous, and perhaps dangerous, opi- 
nions : nor can it be either doubted or denied that 
many Catholics have avowed and promulged tenets 
and dogmas incompatible with good order and the 
peace of the world, and therefore not fit to be tole- 
rated. But fuch cafes are not fairly chargeable on 
all Catholics, and ftill lefs on their religion : " fince 
" none of all the undoubted either articles or rites, 
" which all Roman Catholics univcrfally, without 
" any didinclion of party or faction, do and mud 
" efpoufe, have been hitherto reputed, accufed, or 
" fufpecled of being (in themfelves abftracledly and 
" purely taken) in any manner dangerous to any 
" government temporal or fpiritual, or to any perfons 
" either of princes or fubjedls, or to the property or 
" liberty of any man or woman, or to the peace, or 
" quiet, or fecurity, or content, of any human crea- 
" ture ; however, in the mean time, feveral, or fome 
" of them, do or may, feem erroneous to the learned, 
f( confeientious, Prpteftants*." 


* See " The Hiftory and Vindication of the Loyal Formulary, 
" or Irifh Remonftrance," by PETER WALSH : a book to which, 
if I were a Catholic, I think I could pbjed only for it's being per- 
haps almoft too Proteftant, It is a book which all Proteftants, 
Yfho really wifii to know the true (late of the cafe between Pro- 
fcefUnts and Papifts, certainly ought to read: and whatever it 

T 4 proves, 


Proteftant Divines have thrown away much learn- 
ing and Ikill in refuting notions and pretentious, on 
which, even in times the leaft aufpicious to learning, 
intelligent Catholics never laid much ftrefs. The 
minds and manners of the Clergy both Proteftant 
and Catholic, like thofe of other men> cannot but re- 
ceive fome tincture from the prevailing manners of 
the age in which they live. It is no wonder, then, 
that, in dark and ignorant ages, forne of their writings 
were ignorant and abfurd. But, every well-informed 
and liberal-minded man, inftead of for ever dinning 

proves, or fails to prove, it will at leaft produce this convi&ion in 
men of candid minds, that all Papiils have not always been bigots, 
or intolerant. 

Since this Sermon and the above Note were written, two other 
Vindications of Catholics, by Catholics, have been published ; writ- 
ten, both of them, I had aimed faid, with the abilities, but certainly 
with the fpirit and with the candour of WALSH, who lived in the 
left century, Thefe are : 

Berrington's State and Behaviour of Englifh Catholics, &c. 1780. 

Butler's Juftification of the Tenets of the Roman Catholic Re- 
ligion, &c. 1787. 

To thefe I rejoice that I can add Father O'Leary's truly Catho-' 
lie Tracts. 

But, to the Catholic Proteflant who may yet wifli for farther 
fatisfa&ion refpecling the toleration of Papifts, I beg leave to re- 
commend a Proteftant writer, who, on this fubjecl, as well as on 
almoft every other on which he has written, has left little to be 
added by any that come after him. This is the celebrated Bp. 
Jeremy Taylor's noted Treatifeon " The Liberty of Prophefying ;" 
and particularly the zoth fe&ion of it, in which it is inquired, 
" how far the Religion of the Church of Rome is tolerable." 



the ears of Pa pids wilh vague imputations of monkifli 
ignorance ; in (lead of vifiling the fins of the f alias 
upon tie children unto tie third and fourth generation, 
as if they had been laid under fome irrevocable inter- 
diction, and that we were never to have any connec- 
tion or friendship with them * ; inflead of all fuch 
low and unworthy prejudices, men really enlightened 
and really liberal will remember, and acknowledge 
with gratitude, that, chiefly to Papifts do we owe the 
prefervation of ancient literature; that, in times of 
general anarchy and violence, the Romifh Clergy 
alone gave fuch cultivation to letters as the unim- 
proved Itate of fociety then admitted of; and that, 
in the cloiiters of cathedrals, and in the folitude of 
rnonaftcries, they opened fchools of public inilruclion, 
and,, to men of retired and ftudious minds, afylums 
from the turbulence of war. It was thus that Papifts, 
and even Popifli priefts, by gradually opening and 
enlarging the human mind, prepared the way for the 
Reformation ; which has been a blefling, not to Pro- 
teftants only, but to the whole Chriftian world. The 
Church of Rome, as well as every other Church and 
Society, partakes of that general increafe of light and 
liberality, to the credit of which, with all it's levity, 
and all it's falfe fcience, the prefent age is undoubt- 
edly in many refpefts^ entitled : and fhe too, along 

* ' Genus omne futurum 

" Exercete odiis 

** . . . .... nullus amor populis, nee foedera funto." 

Virg. ^En. lib. iv. 1. 622. 



with others, has in thefe latter times in many par* 
ticulars greatly reformed herfelf, and is daily re- 

If any man of an unprejudiced and ingenuous 
mind, forgetting for a moment that he is either a Pro- 
feftant or a Papifi, will fit down, and read the Popifh 
controvcrfy, I can almofl anfwer for his rifing up 
with this conviclion flrongly imprefied on his mind, 
that Proteitants have hardly fhevvn themfelves more 
fuperior to their adverfaries in point of argument, 
than Papifts have in good temper and good manners. 
When Catholics write or fpeak of Proteftants, we are 
always mentioned with decency, if not with refpecl: : 
whereas we very rarely notice them, without beftow- 
ing on them fome harfh and offenfive epithet. For 
the advantage which, in our controverfy with them, 
we certainly have over them, we are indebted almoft 
entirely to the goodnefs of our caufe, and the learn-* 
ing of our writers : but there is reafon to fear, that 
what Papifts thus lofe they recover by their greater 
moderation in controverfy. 

Let a reverend ." Confiderer * of the prefent State 
ce of Popery" fet me down, if fo he pleafes, among the 
" feemingly cool and candid, but certainly injudicious 
" and perhaps deligning lookers on," who think 
" the alarms concerning the progrefs and increafe of 
" this dangerous fuperftition have been chimerical ;" 
I rnuft be contented to bear his fneers and his 

Mr. Archdeacon Blackburn. 

fures ; 


fores; for I cannot bring myfelf to furrenrler to 
him, or to any man, either my common fenfe, or 
my Chridian charity. I claim to be as anxious for 
the fuppreflion of error, and the propagation of truth, 
as he or any man can be : and though I hope never 
to be fo clamorous, I refolve to be as earned, a (tickler 
for the right of private judgment, as any of the nume- 
rous and noify tribe who fo perpetually Hun the 
world with their declamations againft teds and fub.,- 
fcriptions. Actuated by thefe fentiments, I alfo, in 
my turn, beg leave to fay, what I fincerely think, that 
the progrefs of truth has been much impeded by the 
injudicloufnefs, and perhaps by the defigns, of fuck 
narrow-minded bigots as the Confeflionalid, who, 
with the cant of candour for ever in their mouths, are 
eminent chiefly for their rancour and malignity againft 
all thofe who dare prefume to think otherwife than 
they think. It is particularly remarkable in writers 
of this {lamp, that, when engaged in controvedy, not 
contented with exaggerating, they feldom fail to dif- 
tort and mifreprefent the tenets and the arguments of 
their opponents. This is the more provoking, as it is 
fure to be accompanied with the mod elaborate en- 
comiums on their own unequalled liberality. 

That Papifts, as counted by the poll, have increafed 
in the Britifh dominions, this author very confidently 
aflerts. It may be true, though I own that it is con~ 
trary to what I conceive to be the fact. But I aver^ 
in my turn, that thofe tenets in Popery which are 
judly deemed mod fuperditious and mod dangerous, 



are every where lofing ground : and this being the 
cafe, it is fair to afTert, that Popery, as we underitand 
the term, is on the decline. In this province (which, 
with refpecl; to America in general, is certainly the 
ftrong hold of Popery) the general opinion is that 
Papitls have decreafed and are decreafing. Of the 
truth or falfehood of this matter, Papifts themfelves 
are moft likely to be the beft judges ; and they ac- 
knowledge that their numbers are on the decline. 
This they very rationally afcribe to that better treat- 
ment which they have of late years experienced from 
Proteftants. Who, then, can help regretting, that 
any thing fhould have occurred, juft at this particular 
criiis, to tempt fomc injudicious and perhaps defgnmg 
men among us to recommend it to us again to treat 
them with fufpicion and di fir nil ; and this too in the 
very moment when we were reaping, or were about 
to reap, the beft fruits from a contrary conduct * ? 


* In September 1 660, the Lord Chancellor (the celebrated Earl 
of Clarendon) made a fpeech to the two Koufes of Parliament on 
their adjournment ; which, like all his productions, is not only in 
itfelf excellent, but particularly applicable to the fubje& of this 

" Gentlemen, the diftempers of religion, which have fo much dif- 
" turbed the peace of this kingdom, is a bad argument indeed : it is 
" a confideration that muft make every religious heart to bleed, to 
" fee religion, which mould be the ftrongeft cement and obligation 
" of affeftion, and brotherly kindnefs, and compaffion, made now, 
" by the perverfe wranglings of pafiionate and fro ward men, 
" the ground of all animoiity, malice, hatred, and revenge. And 
*' this Unruly and unmanly pafiion (which no doubt the Divine 

f nature 


We all know (and though we forgive, we hope 
never to forget) what Proteftants have from time to 
time fuflered from Papifts. But what Protcftaut 
dares to allure himfelf that, were Papifts dlfpofed to 
retaliate, they could not (hew us as long and as bloody 
a eatalogue of Papifts who have bled under Protcftant 
hands ? Of whatever religion a man may be, he muft 
read fuch hiftories with forrovv and (hame. They 
are the juft reproach of both parties: and much arc 

<c nature exceedingly abhors) fometimes, and I fear too frequently, 
" tranfporU thofe who are in the right as well as thofe who are in 
" the wrong, and leaves the latter more excufabk than the former, 
" when men who find their manners and difpofitions very con for ma- 
" ble in all the ncceflary obligations of human nature, avoid one 
" another's converfation, and grow firft unfociable, and then un- 
" charitable to each other, becaufe one cannot think as the other 
" doth. And from this feparation we entitle God to the patronage 
" of, and concernment in, our fancies and distinctions, and purely 
" for his fake hate one another heartily. 

" It was not fo of old, when one of the mod ancient Fathers of 
" the Church tells us, that love and charity were fo fignal and 
" eminent in the primitive Chriftians, that it even drew envy and 
** admiration from their greateft adverfaries. Vide, inquiunt t vt in- 
u vicem Je diligant* Their adverfaries in that in which they molt 
" agreed, in their very persecution of them, had their paffions and 
'* animofities among themfelves ; they were only ChrilUans, that 
'* loved, and cherifhed, and were ready to die for one another. 
" $>uid nunc dicerent illi Cbr'ijt\ani,finojlra viderent tempera? fays the 
** incomparable Grotius. Ho\w would they look upon our flinrp 
" and violent contentions in the debates of Chrittinn religion, and 
* the bloody wars that have proceeded from thofe contentions, 
" whilit every one preLendca to all the marks which attend upon 
" the true Church, except only that which h infcparalik from it, 
* f charity to one another r" 



they both concerned to make all the amends in their 
power for the injury thus done to our common Cbrif- 
tianity. If, in our Englifh hiftory, there be one epoch 
which we emphatically execrate, it is the bloody reign 
of bloody Mary. But is there not another Mary, 
\vhofe tragical hiftory muft even be interefting to 
every heart capable cither of fympathy or fentiment ? 
Mary, Queen of Scotland, one of the moft amiable 
monarchs that ever wielded a fceptre, was perfecuted 
with a moft unrelenting rancour by her Proteftant 
fubjecls : and the beil informed and moft faithful of 
her hiftorians, though Proteftants, have owned that 
fhe owed her fufferings in no fmall degree to her 
being a Papift. I do not know that it is now poffible 
to afcertain how many Papifts loft both their eflates 
and their lives becaufe they adhered to the lad James, 
who owed the lofs of his crown to no one caufe fo 
much as he did to his religion : but I would not, even 
if I could, now recount all the plots and crimes with 
which Protcftants, in certain periods of our hiftory, 
on very infufficient grounds, have charged Papifts, 
Surely the world has now feen too much of the mif- 
chievoufnefs of fuch practices ever to countenance 
them again. 

Proteftants of the Church of England are particu- 
larly unwife in keeping up this groundlefs grudge 
again ft thofe from whom it is our boaft that we our- 
felves have fprung. Already is our Church rent and 
torn, in the moft unfeemly and piteous manner, by 
fefts and fe<ftarie$ of almoit every name. Thefe 



fehifms, the members of the Catholic Church 
afcribe (not, T hope, on fuch grounds as cannot be 
refuted, but certainly on fuch as cannot eafily be re- 
futed) in a great mcafure to the manner in which 
our own reformation was begun and carried on. 
However thefe breaches were made, the healing them 
is what all Chriftians muft and do pray for ; and it 
is undoubtedly the intereft as well as the duty of 
Chriftians of all perfuafions to promote it. Now, I 
cannot too often, nor too earneftly, endeavour to in- 
culcate on your minds the ftrong conviction which I 
have on my own, that no meafurc is fo likely to put 
an end to fchifms and fe6ts as a reconciliation and 
coalition between Catholics and Proteftants of the 
Church of England *. Many wife and good men of 
both Churches have long wifhed for fuch an event : 
and though it is too probable that fuch an union 
would be oppofed, not only by bigots of all denomi- 
nations, but by the whole body of Diflcntcrs, to 
vvhofe exiftence difient feems to be efTential ; yet 
Diflenters are nowhere, nor in any fenfe, fo confider- 
able as to be entitled to dictate to all the reft of the 
community. We fhould recollect too, that though 

* " If Popery and Proteflantifm were permitted to dwell quietly 
' together, Papifts might not become Proteftants, (for the name 
" is commonly the laft thing that is changed,) but they would be. 
" come more enlightened and informed ; they would, by little and 
"little, incorporate into their Creed many of the tenets of Pro- 
" teftantifm, as well as imbibe a portion of it's fpirit and ED 
tion." Paley's Moral Philofophy, -jto. p, 580. 



Prefbyterians are every where ignorantly and unjuftly 
confounded with feclaries of a different defeription 
under the general name of Diflenters,the former agree 
with the latter only in their diffent from the Church 
of England : and as to the points moft likely to he 
affected by fuch an union as is here fuggefted, there 
certainly is a much greater difference between the 
old, regular, Prefbyterians and Modern Diflenters, 
than there is between Prefbyterians and Churchmen. 
Agreeing in this fundamental principle, as the members 
of the refpeclive Churches of England, Scotland, and 
Rome, all do, that religion is moft fafe under the 
fhelter and guardianfhip of a national eftablilhment, 
there is reafon to hope that, in the prefent temper of 
the world, if an authorifcd and legal conference of 
fome leading perfons among each of the three parties 
above mentioned could be brought about, they might 
form, if not a complete union, yet fome general con- 
iolidating plan, in which a majority of their refpeclive 
people would be happy to concur. The aim of fuch 
a plan would be to promote, not the particular interefts 
of any of our particular Churches, but the interefts of 
Chriftianity at large ; and, above all, to prevent for 
the future thofe many and great evils which arife from 
cliflen lions and contefts. 

Unnwcd by the apprehenfion of it's being imputed 
to me that 1 am edging towards Popery *, I have no 
reluctance to declare, that Catholics fcem to me to 

* Archdeacon Blackburn. 

I have 


have no flight claims on us on the fcore of gratitude. 
For, were they not Catholics who obtained the Magna 
Charta ; who laid all the broad and firm foundation of 
this unparalleled ftruclufe of liberty, the Britifh Con- 
ftitution ; who ena&ed mod of our beft laws ; who 
creeled fo many of the noble edifices which do fo 
much honour to the Parent State ; who built and en- 
dowed almoft all the national churches, and founded 
not only many eminent public fchools, but allb the 
two univerfities ? Thefe were great, fubftantial, and 
durable fervices, and fuch as juftly entitle thofe who 
performed them to the appellation of great men. 1 
will not degrade them by a comparifon with the puny 
efforts and wordy fcrvices of later times ; for which, 
however, places, penfions, and titles^ have been 
lavifhly beftowed. The defcendants of thofe great 
men in the old times before us, the Papifts of our own 
times, are no longer in any capacity of emulating the 
greatnefs of their ancefiors : but their fortitude, under 
trials of peculiar poignancy, is almoft as unexampled 
as their oppreffions ; and their acquiefcence under a 
long feries of accumulated wrongs, is fuch an inftance 
of true patriotifm as entitles them to the higheft re- 
fpecl. With a patient firmnefs of character, worthy 
of all praife and of all imitation, they have long fub- 
mittcd to fuch injuries and indignities as their high- 
fpirited forefathers would "have ill-brooked, and fuch 
as their undegenerate pofterity would not endure, 
were it not that they have the vvifdom and the virtue 
to refpecl the laws more than their own perfonal feel* 

U ings. 


ings. Every thing moft dear to the human heart has 
been torn from them, excepting their attachment to 
their religion, and their determination ftill to love and 
llefs thofe fellow-fubject.s > who, unmindful of the duties 
refulting from their religion, and unmoved by fo en- 
dearing an example, foolifhly and wickedly continue 
to regard Papifls as Samaritans, with whom they re- 
folve to have no dealings. 

Yet, if the good fenfe and the piety of Papiits 
would permit them to avail themfelves of the means 
that are in their power, they are not altogether de- 
ftitute of all means of redrefs. In few parts of the 
empire are they, in point of number, inconfiderable : 
in fome they are the majority : and in Maryland 
they have all the refpeclability which good birth, 
reputable connexions, and good eftates, can confer. 
They are not, moreover, (as we are,) diftrac~led and 
enfeebled by feels and parties. All found policy 
muft proteft againft our provoking fuch a people to 
become our enemies ; and Chriftianity is fhocked by 
our driving them, ^ by repeated wrongs, ftill farther 
from our com mu n ion . 

The ill treatment which they every where receive 
from us, is every where difgraceful ; but it more par- 
ticularly ill becomes the people of this province, 
which was fettled by Catholics, It was granted ta 
a Papiil avowedly, that Papifls might here enjoy their 
religion unmolefted. Differing from colonHls in 
general, the firft fettlers in Maryland were, with very 
few exceptions, pcribns of family and fortune : and 



(his too is the character of their descendants, who ftill 
poflefs fome of the be ft lands and beft fortunes in the 
province. Retrained from many of the means of 
fhewing their regard for their country, they yet are, 
as far as it is in their power, as defirous arid as ready 
to promote it's welfare as any other of it's inhabi- 
tants. I am fure they have reafon to be fo ; for their 
all is at Hake in it : and I know of nothing in their 
religion, that neceflarily makes them hoftile either to 
their own interefts, or to thofe of the public. If 
they have not hitherto been, or are not now, fo active 
as fbme other defcriptions of men are in what are 
Called patriotic exertions^ they have not only the 
common apology of other quiet and orderly perfons^ 
that they conceive themlelves in this cafe to be at 
liberty to follow their own private judgments ; and 
that they do not think fuch felf-commiffioned exer* 
tions either neceflary> wife> orjuft; but they may 
alfo alledge, that they are reftrained by laws to 
which they fubmit from a fenfe of duty : that feeing 
the fair edifice of our glorious Conftitution already 
in flames, they think that their intermeddling in the 
matter might be deemed to be the throwing another 
unneceflary faggot ; and that they are pioufly unwill- 
ing to add to our prefent embarrafTments and con- 
fufions. Not to admit of fuch apologies is to imi- 
tate the tyranny of the Egyptians in demanding 
bricks where no draw had been given, and to refufe 
to others the exerciie of that liberty which we fo cla* 
loroufly demand for ourfelveS* 

U * la 


In the hard meafure thus dealt out to this people, we 
firft make the offence, and then punifh it. To juftify 
our rigour towards them, we pretend that, by their 
education, modes, and habits of thinking, they are 
difqualified from exerciiing certain offices of citizen- 
Iliip ; from which, therefore, we exclude them. Now 
if they really be unfit, is it not to be afcribed to our 
ill policy and injuftice, in driving them to foreign 
countries for education ; from which it is natural they 
fhould return, if not with prejudices againft their 
own country, yet with no predilection nor habits in 
it's favour ? Jf they come back to us without any 
fuch prejudices ; or if, when returned, they diveil 
themfelves of them, it is an in fiance of very extra- 
ordinary merit : flill we are without excufe for un- 
necefTanly expofing them to fo imminent an hazard *. 
By this inftance of ill-timed jealoufy we k)fe the beft 
chance we can ever have of bringing them within 
our pale ; becaufe uniformity of opinion is generally 
beil promoted by an intercommunity with perfons of 
other, communions. And who knows not that im- 
preffionsof any kind are notonly moft cafily made, but 
fink the deepeit when made, in our early years ? I 
take not into account the fums of money of which our 
country is thus annually drained, though they are eon- 
fiderable : but 1 do regret, and cannot but regret, the 
mifdi reckon aftd mifapplkafion of many fine talents ; 

* " Edqccantur hie, qui hie nafcuntur; ftatimque aB infantiai" 

natale folum amare et frequentare confuefcant." Plinii Epift.- 

lib. jv. ep. 13. 



the alienation of affeclions ; the interruption of the 
kind offices of good neighbourhood ; and, above all, 
the perpetuating of religious differences which arc 
begun in the education of Catholics. 

And now let me conclude in the appofite words of 
the apocryphal author of Ecclefiafticus : Remembering 
our end, let enmity ceafc ; remembering corruption and 
death, I. i us abide in the commandment s \ and remem- 
bering tie commandment f, let us hear no malice to our 
neighbour. Let both Proteftants and Papifts at lea ft 
unite and join in this ; in praying to God our com- 
mon Father, that, by pitting aw& y alllntternefs, wrath, 
anger, clamour, and evil-fpeaking, with all malice ; and 
by being kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving 
one another y even as God for Chrifis fake hath for- 
given us all ; thofe who fuffer wrong may at length be 
helped to right, and be rewarded for their patient fuf- 
fering! And let all Ch rift ians, of all communions, 
mere ef-pccially fray for the good eflate of the Catholic 
Church, thai it may be fo guided and governed by God's 
good f pint, that all who profefs and call themf elves 
Chriftians may he led into, the way of truth, and hold 
the faith in unity of f pint, in the hond of peace, and in 
s of life. 





PSALM xi. ver. 3. 
If the foundations he deftroyed, what can the righteous do & 

V_/N what particular occafion, or at what precife 
period of time, thisPfalm was written, commentators 
are not perfectly agreed. It cannot, like many other 
writings, be illuilrated by a reference to contemporary 
authors : the chief information, therefore, that is now 
to be obtained refpecling it, rnuft be collected from 
it's own internal evidence. On all hands it is agreed, 
that it is, as it's title aflerts, a PJalm of David's, 
written in the midft of fome of thole many difficul- 
ties in which it was his lot to be involved during a 
large portion of his life. Mft probably it was com- 
pofcd during the rebellion of his fon Abfalom ; when, 

* Preached at Queen Anne's Parifh, in Prince George's County, 
Maryland, iu the year 1775. 



to prcferve his crown, he was forced to abandon his 
palace. To reclaim this refractory fon, he had long 
tried perfuafion to little purpofe; nor were the harfher 
meafures to which he now had reeourfe more effeclual. 
He was as unfuccefsful in war, as he had heretofore 
been in the gentler arts of conciliation. To pcrfe- 
vere in fo unnatural and hopelefs a war, muft have 
been dreadful $ it could be exceeded in dreadfulnefs 
only by the ftill greater horror of abandoning his 
faithful adherents, and all good men, to the cruelty of 
rebels. It may, I think, very fairly be inferred, from 
feveral exprcflions in the Pfalm now under confider- 
ation, that, in fome fuch extremity, (when to proceed 
and to defift appeared to be equally hazardous,) there 
were among his counfellors fome who were either 
weak or wicked, or both ; and who, watching his 
(not unnatural) moments of irresolution and defpon- 
dency, advifed and< preifecl him at once to give up 
the contefl. Once before, if not oftencr, it had been 
the fate of David to have rcafon to lament his having 
through an amiable diffidence given up his own 
judgment in deference to others. When he was at 
Mizpch in Moab, in the Cave of Adullam, and he 
and his adherents appeared to be in fafcty, the pro- 
phet Gad (from motives, it is probable, fimilar to 
thole of the counfellors j uft alluded to in this Pfalm) 
gave him the fame advice : this advice he was then 
fo unwary or fo unfortunate as to follow, and fatally 
departed from Fis lolL Recollecting what he had 
before flittered by litlcning to infidious advifcrs, he 

U 4 now 


now more carefully confiders and weighs the advice 
given him on this occafion. To defift from war is an 
advice to which every good man and good king will 
readily liflen : yet,, coniidering the characters of the 
the advifers, it's being tendered now was certainly 
fufpicious, and might be deceitful ; it was clearly 
dangerous, and might be ruinous. This eleventh 
Pfalm feems to be a fummary of his reflections when 
this advice was tendered ; and a declaration of his re- 
folution to reject it, together with fome of hisreafons 
for rejecting it. 

It opens in that apparently abrupt manner fo com- 
mon in Oriental writers, in an addrefs which, to- 
gether with a pointed infimiation that they did not 
trujl in the Lord, conveys a feyere reprimand to his 
advifers for their applying to him who did trujl in 
tie Lord; advice better adapted to themfelves, who 
probably did not. In the Lord put liny trujl ; low 
fay ye then to my foul , fiee as a bird to your mountain ? 
The words evidently imply a flrong difapprobation of 
the advice he had received. And if the conjectures 
here fuggefted refpecting the occafion on which fuch 
advice is fuppofed to have been given be well founded, 
it certainly was not without reafon that he difapproved 
of it. Yet the advice (to fay the lead of it) was 
ipecious ; and the advifers, from their being at court 
and about the king's perfon, moft probably refpect- 
able. It is not difficult to imagine how many plaufi- 
ble arguments fuch couqfellors might find to urge 
againil the Ring's engaging in fo unpromifing a con- 



teft. With far too much rcafon they might alledge, 
that it was a war which held out neither to himfdf 
nor his people any of the fafcinating allurements 
either of glory or of gain. If at lad he fucceeded, 
the belt he had to hope for was only that he might 
be reftored to his former lituation : and all he could 
gain was merely that he might preferve that which 
without a war he mud have loft. It might have 
been demonitratcd alfo, that, confidcring the contro- 
verfy merely as it regarded a matter of property, 
that which even he muft have contended for, was of 
fuch a nature, and fo circumstanced, that even fuccefs 
was fure to coft more than it could be worth. 

It is not recorded that the fhrewd, the fubtle, 
and time-fcrving Shimci was not in the number 
of thefc counfellors : but, whether he was or no, 
it is evident that they were influenced by his fclfifh 
fpirit. Like modern oppoiitionifts in the beft feature 
of their character, they feem to have thwarted David, 
not fo much out of enmity to him, as becaufe the 
doing fo was thought the bell way to promote fomc 
indirect purpofe of their own. They wifhed to fee 
him fall, not that his avowed enemies might triumph, 
but that thcmfelves might rife. In every point of 
view his profpecl was dark and difcouraging ; and 
therefore, as their chief aim in the advice now fug- 
gelled was to add to his difcouragement, few things 
could have been thought of more likely to difpirit him 
than their throwing all the blame, of all that had 
happened, on himfelf. They hefiteted not to tell him, 
2, BeboU 


Behold thou art taken in thy mifchief ! Becaufe thu 
art a bloody man, the Lord las delivered thy kingdom 
into the hands of Abfalom thy fan. As though it 
were not enough to be unfortunate, thefe men in- 
terpreted misfortunes into judgments ; thus render- 
ing an event, which in any cafe would have been 
calamitous, almofl defperate and paft remedy : but, 
with all their perverfenefs in thus perfitiing, with or 
without reafon, to blame the afflicted monarch, it 
cannot be alledged againft them that they ever 
thought of taking part with his undutiful fon, and 
ftill lefs of vindicating the unnatural rebellion of 
that fon. 

Whatever their fuggeftions were, the reply of 
David was unanfwerable : In tie Lord put I my trufl. 
The fentence, however brief, is pregnant with a 
ilrong meaning connected with his fubfequent ex- 
preflions : it is as if he had faid, to my enemies I 
leave it to truft in their chariots and iheir horfes : I 
will not trufl in my bow ; neither fhall my fvvord favc 
me : in the Lord put 1 my izuft-, and non'e tfaa-t tritftetb 
in Inmjball be defolate. 

Unmoved by an anfvvcr as judicious as it was pious, 
thefe oppoiing counfellors perfiftcd in their purpofe 
of intimidating the diftrcfled king, by exaggerated 
accounts of the prowefs and adroitnefs in war of his 
adverfaries. See them, fay they, bending their low<, 
and making ready thetr arrows in the firing. Thefe 
topics of alarm, fo affiduoufly enforced, could not but 
afFcci and embarrass the king ; but they fucceeded 



in completely daggering his firmuefs only by the m- 
finuation of the text, which might be the fuggcftion 
not of ill-difpofed hut of weak counfellors, whom 
yet he regarded as fincerely attached to him. If 
the foundations, fa id they, be dejlroyed, ivhit can tbt 
righteous do ? 

Different interpreters have entertained different 
opinions rcfpecling the precife import of the word 
here rendered foundations. Some have fuppofed it 
to mean a place of refuge, or place of flrength $ fuch 
as w r ere ordinarily fituated or founded on hills : and 
it is imagined, that, in a competition which relates 
chiefly to enemies and war, and in which the fccne 
is laid in an hilly country, this is a very uppofite 
fenfe. Others, by foundations, conceive that the 
laws of the land are meant, and the fundamental pi In- 
clples of government * ; becaufe, as foundations (pro- 
perly fo called,) uphold and fupport a building, fo do 
jurt principles and righteous laws maintain and keep 
human fociety in a fettled and cftablimed depen- 
dence, one part upon another. On this idea the 
fame royal Pfajrnift, complaining in another place of 
(he diflblutcnefs of fome popular principles which 
were prevalent in his time, emphatically adds, that 
thereby the eaflh, and all the inhabitants thereof, 

* Agreeably to this idea a Ute tranflator has thus rendered the 
paflage : 

" When fundamental laws are fubverted, 
What fliould the righteous do ?" 

Street's New and Literal Verfion of the Pfalmi, 



diffolved, i. e. overturned *. In the Ixxxixth Pfalm, 
ver. 14, he fays, Juftice and judgment are the habitation 
of the throne of God. The word here rendered habl** 
tatim might perhaps more naturally have been tranf- 
latecj, the bafis, the foundation, or the eflablifhment, 
as it is in Pfalm Ixxxii. ver. 5 ; where it is faid, All 
the foundations of the earth are out of courfe. If, 
therefore, juftice and judgment be the foundation or 
fupporting principle even of the throne of God, it 
may fnrely be admitted that they are the only folid 
grounds on which all human authority muft reft ; 
and of courfe the deftru&ion of fuch foundations muft 
mean and be the deft roy ing of all order and fe- 
-curity. I am perfuaded this is the true fenfe and 
weaning of the text. 

It is natural to fuppofe that infincere, faithlcfs, and 
wicked counfellors will always wifh to deftroy fuch 
foundations ; becaufe Ihofe foundations, if fuffered to 
remain, and (till to poilefs all the ftrength which na- 
turally belongs to them, would elfe deftroy them. 
Bad men, unwilling to regulate their mifdirecled 
pafiions by the reftraints of reafon, are equally un- 
willing to let the laws regulate them ; yet laws arc 
the only means which human wifilom can dcvife to 
leflrain diforderly men. It is not to be wondered at, 

* Pfalm hcxv. ver. * Ubi hoc fecero fentiet terra iram 
** et prse metu examinabuntur cjuotquot inhabitant in es, cujus ego 
* l fundamenta jeci, et cclir,nn:s fiab'iliv]* quare et concutere earn non 
' difficile mihi erit. J ' Claxius. Qritici S.acri an loco, vol iv, 



therefore, if fuch men, confidering laws as intended to 
be not only fetters to tie their hands, but as prin- 
ciples alfo to fubjugate and confine their minds, are 
always eager to cqft their cords from them, and to 
tear their bonds afunder* In allufion to this juft idea 
of the true purpofe of all laws, the magiftrate, iii 
Judges xviii. ver. 7, is in the original with great pro- 
priety ityled the heir of reftraint : but as laws can pro- 
tect no people but thofe who have the wifdom and 
the virtue to protect the laws, it follows that thecaufe 
of the lawlefs can profper only by overturning or de- 
firoymg laws, which are the foundations of all go- 
vernment, if indeed they be not, properly fpeaking, 
government itfelf. 

Without, however, profecuting this enquiry any 
farther as it refpects the hiitoiy of David, permit me, 
from what has already been obferved on it, to draw a 
general corollary, or conclufion, which may ferve as 
a bafis to this difcourfe. This conclulion is, that^all 
governments, or all conftitutions, have their peculiar 
foundations, or fundamental principles, which thofe 
who live under them are bound both by duty and in- 
tereft to defend.^ The argument thus pointed will 
naturally lead me to make fuch obfervations and re- 
flections on the prefent ftate of things among our- 
felves, as may not I truft be thought unfuitable to 
this folemnity. 

That practice is the refult of principle, will, I fup- 
pofe, be readily admitted as a proportion \vhich in 
general is juft and well-founded, How much foever 



at random we may fometimes feem to act, there ar& 
few, even of our moil extravagant aclions, which, if 
they could be fairly analyzed, would not be found to 
be the effect of fome certain train of thinking ; or, in 
other words, of fome preconcerted fyftem or plan. 
Thus a perfon, who> by mimicking a natural infirmity 
in another, at length contracts the fame habit, though 
without either intending or defigning to do fo, or 
without even being cortfcious of it, mud not charge 
his infirmity to nature, but to dcfign, ftudy, and plan. 
Unconnected^ unfounded, and i n con clu five reafon- 
ing, does not prove that we reafon without any plan 5 
it proves only that our plan is a bad one, or elfe 
that we want fkill to follow it. No doubt we arc 
often bad rcalbners, as we certainly are when we are 
bad men : but even when our conduct is moft uri- 
rcafbnablc, ftill it is formed on fome plan * there is 
ft ill fome latent principle., or foundation , to which our 
moft eccentric actions might be traced. And when 
we fay of an abandoned man that he is unprincipled, 
\VQ do not, I apprehend, mean all that the epithet 
may feem literally to import; but only that fuch a 
man is without good principles. We confider prac- 
tice merely as the evidence of principle ; and ac- 
cordingly it is chiefly from men's principles that we 
form an eftimate of their characters, for we naturally 
as well asjuilly conclude that where the principles 
are right the practice can never be very materially 
wrong. It is true that a man of good principles may 
perhaps always act as he ought j but we are fure 



that he will neither deliberately do nor pcrfcvcre 
in what is wrong : whereas practice not dictated by 
principle (if there be fuch a thing) muft be merely 
a matter of chance ; highly criminal when it pro- 
duces evil, and without merit even when it does 
good : for a right behaviour, confidered as an effect, 
and merely as it appears in the outward act, is an 
uncertain and fluctuating thing : if it be not founded 
on principle, evil may become good ; and the aflaflin, 
who, intending to ftab a man whom he hated, miffc 
ing his aim, opened an impofthume in the fide of his 
enemy, and thereby faved his life, muft be allowed 
to have performed a virtuous action. 

If fuch be the importance of right principles, the 
degeneracy of^mjxlern^lirnej is manifeft ; for, .with a 
total unconcern about principles, we rely folely on 
men's fuppofed interests and inclination, and conceive 
that they alone will lead to a right conduct. I But 
what confidence is this wherein fuch men truft? Thejp 
fay, (but furely they are but vain words,) that herein 
is counfel andftrength. Now, behold, injlead of beams 
of cedar, and rafters of Jir, they lean on a broken reed : 
on which if, in cafes of extremity, we lean, it will go 
into our hands and pierce them. It was not fo in the. 
beginning. To fecure our orthodoxy, creeds and 
confeflions of faith were compiled; and to inftil into 
us right principles of moral conduct, fchools and 
fcminarics of learning were founded. The founders 
of our happy Conftitution laid it's foundations in fuit- 
able prbvifions for men's being trained to think, ai 



\vell as to act, aright. To have expected the fruits of 
obedience from thofe whofe infant minds they had 
fufFered to be imbued with the principles of difobedi- 
ence, would (as no doubt they argued) have literally 
been to have expected to gather ivbere they had not 

In the unbounded freedom of modern times we 
defpife fdch precaution ; and, (as it is the misfortune 
of the beti things to be moft liable to abufe,) in our 
exceeding anxiety not to inftil prejudices, nor to in- 
fringe the rights of private judgment, our legiflators 
feem at length to have learned to be quite at eafe 
refpecting principles of conduct. Jnftead of being at 
any pains (as out anceftors were) to prevent guilt and 
inifery in the people, we wait till crimes are com- 
mitted, and then punifh them : and fo, inftead of 
people's being led to a right conduct by the gentle, 
natural, and effectual means of a prcfcribed courfe of 
education, they are purfued with penalties for having 1 
been, through the neglect of their governors, driven 
into mifconduct. This does not differ much from 
the policy of a man who fhould try, by means of 
mounds and dams, to force a nream into fome par- 
ticular direction, without firft opening a channel into 
which it would naturally and eafily run. 

The reproach of our age is not fo much a corrup- 
tion of manners, as a corruption of principles^ Owing 
to various caufes, which it is foreign to the fubject in 
hand now to invefligate, we are not yet fo profligate 
si people as (if the expreffion may be pardoned) con- 



fiftency requires that we (hould be. By a fortunate, 
perverfenefs, we are at variance with ourfelves : ade* 
quate caufes have not yet produced all their effects; 
polluted fountains do not fend out ftreams as turbid 
as thcinfelves. But the order of Nature is not 
changed : as men fow, in due time they (hall cer- 
tainly reap. There is a ftrong and unalterable con- 
nexion between men's principles and their adlions 5 
and in fpite of accident, or any extrinfic caufes, the 
characters of mankind will ultimately be what educa* 
tiori or principles early inflillcd (hail make them. 

This extreme relaxation of principle, which, though 
but little thought of, is perhaps hardly lefs dangerous 
than even a greater profligacy in fome former periods 
of our hillory ; becaufe thr.t, from the notoriety of it'? 
danger, was marked, and fometirnes fhur.ned; whilft 
this, by being careffed and taken into pur boforn^ 
was riot found out to be our foe, till, like the ferpcnt 
inihe fable, it had ilung us to d^lh.; can 
grown up to this height by accident. 

If a judgment may be formed from it's 
flourifhing ftatc, it mud have been oultivated with 
no common care : and though to undo and to urtt 
fettle, to fet men loole from reftraints, and to teabb 
tham' to acquiefca and fubmit only when oppofitioo 
and refiftance are iiBpi-ac^icable^ rhay be *hougfrt r^ 
ticlcs of inftrudHon which it muft be difficult to incul- 
cate, we find, by their eifiads, that they certainly have 
been inculcated with, great fuccefs. So- fap>baefc^ 
the reign of the firft Charles, diiTatisfa^ons with *b$ 

X eftabliflied 


eftablifhed government,, and a paffion for revolutions 
and reforms, were purfued as a fytlem ; and at the 
Revolution they were fo confirmed as to have been 
almoft eftablifhed into the national faith and practice. 
Ever lince, they have been diiieminated throughout 
the empire .with a degree of fuccefs proportioned to 
the increafed facility of the : means": no popular .ora- 
tor, nor -popular writer, has of late years ever omitted 
an opportunity of pointing- out the flaws and de- 
fects of the eflablifhed fyfiem ; and, in confequeft'Otfy 
recommending fome reformation; That the firm 
bafis or comer-done of all good government is that 
principle Which (inftrucled b^ our^older writers) I call 
a principle of obedience for conscience fake cannot 
well be denied: even modern theoretical -writers 
acknowledge it in owning that no government does 
or cairpoflcfs force or power fufficient-for it's owirt 
ilipport, were- it not for the general opinion and per^ 
fnafion, if not of it's facrednefs, yet of it's inviolability. 
But the moft obvious and direct tendency of the pre- 
vailingfyftem of public men, in thus finding fault with 
almoft eVery thing that is'eftabliflied, and involving 
the executive power in difficulties, in order to take 
Advantage of them, to oppofe and reiift it, is the incul- 
cating a general perfuafion thdt government is neither 
facred nor inviolable. It is this iiate of the public 
nfed wh ich , in this difcourfej I deiignate (and I hope 
not improperly) by the terms of a relaxation of prin- 
ciple ; Or, in the language of my text, a deftruclion 



Happy in the eafier talk of having left to our care 
the maintenance only of thofe excellent foundations 
which were laid for us by our progenitors, we are 
without excufe, if, either through heedleflhefs or 
through defign, we fuffer them to be deftroyed. Thofe 
great and good men, who, like wife mafter-builders, 
have from time to time fo fitly framed together our 
glorious Conftitution, well knew that other fure found- 
ation no man could lay than that already laid by pro- 
phets and apoftles, namely obedience, not only for 
wrath, but for cvnf dene e fake. Founded on this rock 
a fu peril rucl ure of greatnefs and happinefs has been 
railed, to which even fufpicion could apprehend no 
danger, were it not of the nature of human grandeur 
to totter and fink under it's own weight. Free go- 
vernments are mod endangered by fjlfe principles; 
juft as perfons brought up in healthy climates are moft 
apt to contract difeafcs in unwholfbme ones. Except, 
therefore, the Lord. keep, as well as buildy the houfe, it 
is but loft labour for us to think of having it propped 
up, not (in the language of the Apoftle) with gold, 
fiver, and precious Jl ones, but with the feeble buttrcfles 
of wooJ 9 and hay, and Jtubble.*. It was founded in 
vvifdom and in virtue ; and on that foundation, if at 
all, it mull be maintained and preferved. Rigbteouf- 
nefs alone (which is the foundation or fundamental 
principle which it is the aim of this difcourfe to re- 
commend) exaltetb a nation ; whereas fin, or falfe 

* I Cor. iii. vcr. 12. 

X a principles^ 


principles, are not only the reproach, but the deftru&ion 
of 'any people. It is acknowledged, indeed, that, as in 
private life, the way of the wicked fometimes profper eth, 
and thofe are permitted to be "happy who deal very 
treacheroiifly ; fo virtuous States are fometimes, for 
U while, opprejfed and brought 'low , whilfl corrupt ones 
are advanced to great power. But, in general, the 
hand of God feldom continues to be long againft a 
righteous people ; nor does vengeance, though flow, 
ever fail, at lad, to overtake either guilty individuals 
or guilty communities. States, as States, have no 
prefcribed period of exiftence ; yet they alfo may have 
a time to die : and to ex peel them to arrive at perpe- 
tuity without virtuous principles and manners in the 
people of whom they are compofed, feems to be as 
vain as in the life of man it would be to hope for 
longevity without anjr regimen or without tem- 

I am not confcious that I am of a temper to rail 
indifcriminately againft my own times. In many re- 
fpedls they merit much commendation ; perhaps be- 
yond all that have preceded them. Through a de- 
ference to public opinion, which abhors every thing 
that is monftrous in manners ; through the influence 
of fafhion and habit, our character as a people is not 
marked by any prevailing propenfity to commit grea 
and flagrant crimes : but, I own, I hardly know how 
far fuch negative kind of merit is entitled to praife; 
at moft, it feems to be but the virtues of that particu- 
lar clafs of bees which in autumn are called drones, 



and which are innoxious only becaufe they are impo- 
tent. However commendable it is in the character 
of a peoplq that they are not marked by any great 
and flagrant vices, we are entitled to this commenda- 
tion, if at^all, by accident rather than by defign, that 
is to fay, becaufe, fortunately for us, it is not fafhion- 
able to be eminently vicious ; whilft our equal de- 
ficiency in any great virtues is in no flight degree 
ftudied and deliberate. (There never was a time when 
a whole people were fo little governed by fettled good 
principles^ Nor is this unconcern about good prin- 
ciples confined to matters which relate to government. 
By a natural gradation in error, it pervades the whole 
compafs of our conduct. Wife and obferving perfons 
fee with forrow that it has gained a footing in, and 
materially injured, every department of fociety. Pa- 
rents complain, and not without reafon, that children 
are no longer fo refpeclful and dutiful as they ought 
to be, and as they ufed to be ; whilfl children might, 
with not lefs reafon, object to their parents llill more 
culpable inftances of a failure of duty. Both employ- 
ers and the employed, much to their mutual fhamc 
and inconvenience, no longer live together with any 
thing like attachment and cordiality on either fide : 
and the labouring clafTes, inftead of regarding the 
rich as their guardians, patrons, and benefa&ors, now 
look on them as fo many over-grown colofTufes 
whom it is no demerit in them to wrong. A ftill 
more general (and it is to be feared not lefs juft) 
topic of complaint is, that the lower clafTes, inftead of 

X 3 being 


being induflrious, frugal, and orderly, (virtues fo pe- 
culiarly becoming their ftation in life,) are become 
idle, improvident, and diflblute. And, however 
much it is to be regretted by all ranks, it does not 
admit of a doubt that this diflblutencfs in the inferior 
members of the community may be traced to fome 
correfponding profligacy in the higher orders. The 
manners of a community may be regarded as one 
great chain, of which perfons in fuperior fpheres are 
but the upper links. The fame caufes which, in the 
upper walks of life, lead men of active minds to en- 
gage in feditious and factious confpiracies and rebel- 
lions, lead thofe in lower fpheres (when not attached 
as fatellites to powerful revolt ers) to become either 
drunkards, and unmannerly, and abufive ; or elfe, 
fmugglers, gamblers, and cheats. 

But thefe deviations from rectitude, though by no 
means inconflderable in themfelves, yet, when com- 
prehenfibly confidered, are but fmall parts of a great 
whole, "t is in our character, as fubjects, that our lofs 
of good principles, and confequent errors in practice, 
are mofl manifeft and moil mifchievous. The doc- 
trine of obedience for conference fake * is (as has juft 


* As the only remedy againft ruinous confufions in a State, 
Ariftotle, the great teacher of political wifdom to the Heathen 
\vorld, recommends the laying the foundation of civil government in 
religion: W^WTOV y ro^i * s<7rftfAea. Ariftot. Polit. lib. i. The 
recommendatiojj very clearly (hews fiorn what fource he derived all 
that he knew on thefe fubje&s. 



been obferved) tbe great corner-fane of all good go- 
vernment ; which, whenever any builder of conftitu- 
tions (hall be fo nnwife as to refufe, or, not refuting, 
fhall afterwards furler to be deftroyed, what can he 
expedl but that the whole fabric fliould be overturned ; 
and that onwhomfoever it may fall it iv ill grind them to 
powder?.. The importance of this principle of obedi- 
ence cannot well be ftated in ftrougcr terms than it i.s 
in an anfwer of a great man recorded by Plutarch, 
When the Thebans praifed the government of Epa- 
minondas, and gratefully acknowledged that they 
were happy becaufe he governed fo well, that truly 
great man replied : " Not fo ; you, our country, and 

Plutarch, alfo, compares a government without religion to caftleg 
built in the air : AMa -aroXis ay oi 5bxe< *a\Xoy i)a<ot;? w ^ " XTI* 

i.- - Plut. adv. Colotem. Opera, vol. ii. folio edit. p. 1125. 
We who, blefied be God ! on the fubjeft of religion, have a more 
fure word of prophecy -, have alfo, on government, a tuTtr foundation. 
In Chriftian States religion and government reft on the fame bafis ; 
fuccefs in the latter being the neccflfary and conftant rcfult of fin- 
cerity in the former. The Church and the King do, and muft, 
ftand or fall together : to pretend to approve of the one, whilft yet 
we oppofe the other, is to approve of St. Peter when he drew the 
fword, but to difapprove of him when he enjoins fubmiffion. It is 
the peculiar boaft of the Church of England, that, amidft all the 
changes and chances of our hiftory, fhe never, either in her dolrine 
or her practice, has countenanced any principles tending to fedition, 
faction, or trcafop. Churchmen, as fuch, have often betn fufferers 
for, but never the oppofers of, lawful authority. This is fo well 
known a fa&, that, amidft all the contumelies with which her ene- 
mies have fo often loaded her, the refiftance of juft authority has 
never been objeded to her. 

X 4 " we 

" we all are happy, not merely becaufe I govern well, 
" but becaufe you obey well." 

Yet who is there among us fb tmolbferving as not to 
know how much it is the fafhion with the unhallowed 
politicians of thefe unprincipled times to malign and 
feoff at this venerable doctrine? Or, who ib ill- 
informed of the importance of this principle as not 
to lament the fuccefs they have had in bringing it, at 
length, into very general difrepute ? I fincerely be- 
lieve that the low eilimation in which this fundamental 
principle is held is the great evil of our age. There 
is, however, this confolation left to thofe who ftill 
reverence it as the life and foul of all good govern- 
ment, that, however vilified it may be, it never can be 
wholly abandoned and loft, till God, in refentment of 
our fins, (hall fuffer the National Church to be de~ 
forayed, and, along with it, our prefent glorious Condi- 
tution. Men may debate as much and as long as ill- 
judged policy and ill-regulated paffions (hall prompt 
them ; new theories may be invented, or old projects 
under new names be revived and purfued ; and what 
is received as wifdom and truth in one age, and one 
country, may, in others, be fcorned as folly, or repro- 
bated as error: but the word of Go&abidethfafl for ever*, 
and is no more afFecled by the agnation of human opi~ 
jiions, than a rock in theocean can be moved or fhaken 
by the winds and the waves that beat again ft it* ? 

* " IHe, velut pelagi rupes immota, refiftft : 
" Quae fefe, multis cireumlatrantibus undfs,, 
w Mole tenet : fcopuli nequicquam & fpuraea circum 
, 4< Saxa frcmunt n jEneid, vif. 1. 586. 



This great doctrine of the liturgy and of the homi- 
lies of our Church, as well as of the laws of the Land, 
we are now, alas, intemperately haftening with the 
inoft deplorable ignorance to deftroy ! and at the fame 
time encouraging a novel experiment in the world ; 
an experiment by which it is propofed to keep fo- 
ciety together, or, in other words, to build up a Con- 
(litution without any foundations. So much perhaps 
has not in direct terms yet been avowed ; but all this, 
and even more than this, muft inevitably refult from 
that loofe notion refpecling government, which has 
long been diifeminated among the people at large 
with incredible induftry, namely, that all government 
is the mere creature of the people, and may therefore 
be tampered with, altered, new-modelled, fet up or 
pulled down, juft as tumultuous crowds of the moil 
diforderly perfons in the community (who on fuch 
occasions are always fo forward to call themfelves tie 
f topic) may happen in fome giddy moments of over- 
heated ardour to determine. 

By fomething like a fatality, thefe notions, fo well 
calculated for the lowed and moft ignorant of the 
people, do not appear now to have originated with 
them. To promote fome finifter ends, fome leading 
perfons (who, not being of that clafs of which mobs 
are moft generally formed, (hould therefore have 
been above the cherifhing of any mobbilh maxims) 
revived and propagated the ftale idea, (which it is 
probable they do not themfelves believe,) that govern- 
ment is a combination among a few to opprcfs the 



many. With having firft broached this popular but 
dangerous flander, modern reformers however arc not 
chargeable. This, as well as the principle of equa- 
lity, is very faithfully copied from a fimilar inftance 
of it's adoption in an early period of the hiftory of 
the Jews. Now Korah the fan of Izbar, tie fan of 
Kohath, the fon of Levi ; and Dalhan, and Abiram, 
the fons of Eliab ; and On the fon of Peleth, Jons of 
Reuben, took men. And they rofe up before Mofes, with 
Certain of the children of Ifrael, two hundred and fifty 
grimes of the ajfembly^ famous in the congregation, men 
of renown. And they gathered themfehes together 
Ggainft Mofes and agalnjl Aaron, and Ja'id unto, them, 
Ye take too much upon you, feeing all the congregation 
arc holy, every one of them, and the' Lord is among 
them : wherefore then lift you tip yourfelves above the 
congregation of the Lord? Num. xvi. ver. i, 2,, 3, 
But wherever, or whenever, the poiition was firft pro- 
duced, it is fo palpably abfurd, and has fo often been 
ihewn to be abfurd, that nothing could have given it 
any currency but the artifice of confounding govern- 
ment itfelf, or government in the abftracl, with the 
minifters of government. In a certain fenfe, and to 
a certain degree, government no doubt is the a 61 of 
the executive power by it's minifters ; and therefore, 
to oppofe, thwart, and embarrafsthe miniflers of go- 
vernment, is to thwart and oppofe government it- 
felf; and moll generally, though not always, fo far 
from being meritorious, that it is quite the contrary. 
Still the minifters of government, ancl government 


itfelf, however nearly connected, are diftincl : fminif- 
ters may be unvvife and unjuft, and, as fuch, may not 
defcrve fupport ; but the confutation of government, 
as long as it exifts, is to be regarded as infallible and 
irre(i(tiblc.| Under this idea, that government even 
in it's bell eftate is an evil, and that it's minifters muft 
of courfe be corrupt, many conceive it to be meri- 
torious to oppofe both the one and the other : for, 
however pofTible it may feem to be in theory to op- 
pofe the minifters of government, and at the fame 
time to fupport government, the hiftory both of the 
mother country and her colonies fhews, that, in prac- 
tice, it is always difficult, if not impoflible. To fyfte- 
matical and indifcriminate oppofltion it certainly is im- 
poffible. It is not perhaps that any confiderable num- 
ber of people ferioufly think,. as it is here ftated they 
do ; but they certainly acl: as if they thought there 
was great merit in oppofition, even when, in oppofing 
minifters, government itfelf is alfo oppofcd. The 
principle, however, (if indeed it is to be regarded as a 
principle,) is as indefensible as when it is carried into 
practice, it's effects are lamentable. In hardly any 
fenfe of the word is it true that government is an evil : 
but in this unqualified fenfe I cannot allow it to be an 
evil ; that is to fay, what cafuifts call malum infe ; even 
admitting it to have originated from the wickednels 
of mankind. With equal reafon might we vote the 
medicine to be an evil which cures us of a dangerous 
difeafe ; or the furgeon our enemy, who faves our 
lives by amputating a putrid limb. If, in fome in- 



ftanees, through abufe, government does aclually be- 
come (as no doubt it often does) an evil ; this, pro- 
perly underftood, is no more to be objected to good 
government, than the fierce debate,-, the bitter quar- 
rels, and the dreadful wars which have fprung from 
religion, are fairly to be charged to religion. Still, 
however, it remains a queftion, (and fuch a one as I 
think is incapable of being proved in the affirmative,) 
how far an indifcriminate oppofition to the minifters 
of government, isthebeft way to correct even abufcs 
in government : yet, as though there were no doubt 
in the cafe, both in the mother country and in the 
colonies, that fpecies of parliamentary interference 
uniformly exerted by a felf-crcated body of men, who 
are generally known and defcribed under the fettled 
title of the Oppofition, is now fuppofed to be abfo- 
lutely necen^ryto the prefervation of liberty. It is ex- 
traordinary that a pofitionoffuch moment has no where 
(as far as I know) ever been fairly argued ; though I 
cannot help fhongly fufpecling, that if ever the point 
fee carefully clifcufled, it will be found that, however 
generally entertained and acted on, it is ill-founded. 
If I am not miftaken, it has thus been received as a 
ruling principle in politics only fince the Revolu- 
tion ; fince which time, men of all defcriptions, and 
of all parties, it is probable, have occafionally ranked 
under the banners of Oppciition. And it is no mean 
proof of the fyflem's being radically falfe and wrong, 
that the fame men have uniformly maintained opi- 
nions and principles diametrically oppofite to each 



other, when in oppofition, and when in place. Sir 
Robert Wai pole Hands recorded as the moil violent 
patriot of his day, as well as the moft corrupt mini* 
fler : and fuch is the indulgence fhewn by the public 
to this glaring inconfiftency, that men are rewarded 
for their oppofition by appointments to fituations, in 
which it is well known they muil and will defend th* 
very meafures they had before condemned. The ne- 
ceffity or the advantage of a fyftematical oppofition, 
therefore, can, with any ihew of confifL'ncy, be main- 
tained by thofeperfons alone, who think the intereftsof 
thofe who govern, adverfe to thofe of the governed : 
whereas the fact is, that in no iriftance can the people 
who are governed be fo much, injured by a weak or 
wicked adrniniitration, as the conftitution itfelf is in- 
jured. M;il-adm migration, corruption, and tyranny,, 
in thofe who govern, fap the foundations of all good 
government, if with lefs flievv, yet with hardly iefe 
reality, than they are fapped by fedition and rebellion 
in tho r e who are governed. That it is of great moment 
carefully to watch the conduct of all adminiftrations, 
is readily admitted; but it is of equal moment to attend 
with equal care to every thing elfe which relates to 
legiflation and government. Such vigilance, however, 
is the particular and exclufive duty of no individual 
member or members of the comm unity, whether in 
a public or private capacity : it is the common duty 
&f every man in his fphere, and the efpecial duty of 
our conftitutional guardians, whom we elect for that 
purpofe, though not for that only, This duty they 
6 equally 


equally difcharge, when, in cafes where the executive 
power requires and is entitled to fupport, they give it 
fupport ; as when, on a contrary fuppofition, they op- 
pofe and endeavour to counteract meafures of which 
they cannot confcientioufly approve But this neither 
fuppofes nor j uftifies a diflincl: and united body of 
iyftematic opponents, nor indifcriminate oppofition : 
yet, both in the Britifh Parliament, and in our Colo- 
nial Aflemblies, ever fince the fyftem began, there has 
never wanted a regular corps of members in oppo- 
fition ; as well known, and as clearly defignated as 
any of the officers of State. This body of men has 
far too often oppofed, not only particular meafures, 
(as every individual member is fuppofed to do when 
fchemes are patronized either by thofe entrufted 
with the adminiftration or others, which fuch mem- 
bers conceive to be unwife or unjuft,) but in general 
all meafures whatever which are fupported by the 
executive power, or by a minifter : and what is moft 
alarming is, that, in thus thwarting and oppofing the 
immediate fupporters of government, many instances 
might be mentioned, in which the Members in Oppo- 
lition, as they are regularly denominated, have, imlf- 
redlly at lead, taken part with, encouraged, and aflift- 
ed the avowed enemies of their country : one alfo of 
it's more certain and conftant effecls is, that, in com- 
mon with it's minifters, government in the abftracl: 
is vilified and traduced. 

That fome good has occafionally been effe&ed by 
oppofitions (which now feem to be as regular appen- 


dages to our legiflatures, as if they actually were a 
conft'itutiona! and effential part of them) I arn far 
from denying ; but J much fear the good that is thus 
done bears no proportion to the evil : the former at 
belt is uncertain, but not fo the latter. As, however, 
it is no part of my purpofe to go into a full difcuflkm 
of this important queition, liiffice it for the prefent 
to obferve, (what perfectly correfponds with the aim 
of this 1 difcourfe,) that one of it's certain effects is, 
(as has juft been obferved,) it's giving rife to a low 
and unworthy opinion of government. Hence men 
of ill-informed or mifdirected minds are naturally 
led, in (lead of reverencing government, to do all they 
can to di (honour it. It was this general habit of 
fpeaking evil of dignities , and defpifing dominion, which 
in the ;i aft century, more -than any thing elfe, engen-, 
dered and foftered infinite confufon and every evil work 
in the State ; and at length produced thofejeeret con- 
/piracies and open attempts again fl the laws, the liber- 
ties, and the religion of the land ; fuch as now once 
more fill the minds of all obferving and thinking men 
with apprehenfion and awe. 

This low opinion of government naturally produces 
another falfe and dangerous eftimatc of things : ia 
proportion as government is degraded, thofe who de- 
prefs it exalt themfelves. Hence, to be the friend of 
government, fubjects a man to the mortifying fuf- 
picion of being of an abject and fervile mind ; whilft 
popularity is fure to attach to thofe who oppofe go- 
vernment, or rather perhaps the minifters of govern- 


ment. And hence too, as fiimfy oratory is always 
moil in vogue when found principles and found 
learning are leafl fo, our foreft committees, aping the 
members of our conventions and congrefles in their 
volubility of fpeech, as well as in their patriotifm, 
harangue not lefs vehemently on thofe unvarying 
topics, the abufes of government, the vilenefs of thofe 
whom they call the tools of government, the difinte- 
reftednefs of opposition, and the genuine love of 
liberty which actuates thofe who cortduct oppofition. 
Thefe feem aKvays to have been the favourite topics 
of that " fwoln and turgid elocution *," which a 
Roman writer, diflinguifhed for his elegance, men- 
tions as characleriftical of his countrymen in the de- 
cline of their empire >f 

This is not all : as though there were ibme irrefift- 
ible charm in all extemporaneous fpeaking, however 
rude, the orators of our committees and fub-commit- 
tees, like thofe in higher fpheres, prevail with their 

* " Ventofa ifthaec et cnormis loquacitas.' 1 Petronius Arbiter. 

^ u Eft magna et notabilis eloquentia alumna licentiae, quam 
" ilulti libertatem vocabant ; comes feditionum ; efFrasnati populi 
*' incltamentum ; contumax ; temeraria ; arrogans ; quae in benc 
" conftitutis civitatibus non oritur." Tacit. Dialog, de Orator. 

" The meek fpirit of obedience had given way to a turbulent 
' impatience of legal reftraint, and to an overweening conceit .of 
" felf-eoufequence. Every pert demagogue thought himfelf at li- 
*' berty to difturb the decorum of popular afiemblies by his feditious 
" declamations : as if effrontery of face and volubility of tongue 
<r were the only neceflary accomplishments of an orator and ftates- 
w man." * Bever's Roman Polity, book ii. p. 85. 



tongues*. r . To public Speakers alone is the government 
of our country now completely committed! it is can- 
toned out into new diftricls, and fubjeclecT to the ju- 
rifdiclion of thefe committees ; who, not only without 
any known law, but direclly in the teeth of all law 
whatever, ifTue citations, fit in judgment, and inflict 
pains and penalties on all whom they are pleafed to 
confider as delinquents : not only new crimes have 
been thus created, but alfo new punifhments ; in 
comparison with which even the interdiction from 
fire and water among the Romans was mild and 
merciful. An empire is thus completely eftablifhed 
within an empire ; and a new fyftcm of government 
of great power erecled, even before the old one is 
formally abolifhed. 

Now, could all this have happened had there not 
firft been a great change in the public mind, and a 
total direliction of all thofe fundamental maxims and 
principles by which the public has hitherto been hap- 
pily influenced and governed ? If fuch a fiate of 
things docs not prove a total deftru&ion of foundations 
already to have taken place, it ftiews far too clearly 
that fo avveful an event cannot be very diftant. 

I fear I might be thought to fport with your under- 
Handings, as well as with your humanity, if, notwith- 
ftanding all the teftimonies of hiftory, and notwith- 
{landing all the fair deductions of argument, I were 
ttill to amufe you with hopes that what is yet to come 

* Pfal. xii. ver. 4. 

y will 


will be better than what is paft, or is now patting. 
It is true I do not pretend to bring any direct or po- 
fitive proo that it either is, or ever was, in the con- 
templation of any individuals among us, or even of 
any party, to kindle up a civil war, either in our Pro- 
vince, or on the Continent, for thepurpofe of deftroy* 
ing foundations, and erecting on their ruins that 
better constitution which we are told is fo much 
wanted. He who in fuch a cafe waits for proofs, 
refembles the man who, feeing that his houfe is on 
fire, fbould refolve not to fend for an engine till he 
faw the flames burfting out at the roof. 

I feel I want fpirits to draw 7 a piclurc of thofe mi^ 
ferable confufions w^hich we may too furely look for, 
if for our fins the Almighty fhould fee fit to fuffer 
thefe unhallowed principles to produce all their na- 
tural effects. Good men are particularly interefted 
in praying to be fpared from fuch times of calamity. 
If the foundations be dejlroyed, 'wfiat (an the righteous 
do ? No queftion is made rcfpccling the unrighte- 
ous : the royal Pfahnift could be at no lofs to judge 
what they would do ; for he had been taught by ex- 
perience, that a time of general difordcr is to bad 
men what a fhipwreck is to barbarians. Like the 
willow, men of loofe principles bend and yield to the 
llream ; whilft tie righteous^ in a deluge of iniquity, 
imitating the oak, are ufually torn up by the roots 
and fwept away by the torrent. 

It can neither be concealed nor denied that the 
times are critical and awcful. tte foundations of tie 



iiorld are oiit of courfe : the judgments of God are in 
the earth : much therefore doth it become the inlxibi- 
tants thereof to learn right eoufnefs. In vain do even 
we, who profefs to fee and to own that our prefent 
confufions are not to be afcribed to any particular 
caufc or caufes which have operated juft at this par- 
ticular juncture, but rather to a feries of accumu- 
lated caufes which feem at length to have arrived at 
their crifis ; in vain, I fay, do we affect to lament bad 
principles, whilft we take fo little pains to promote 
good ones : in vain do we profefs with our lips to love 
our country and it's conftitution, whilft, by our lives, 
we dhgrace the one and deftroy the other. It i* 
only by found principles and a correfponding prac- 
tice ; by a deep and due fenfe of the duties of reli- 
gion, evidenced by a fu it able purity of manners ; it 
is, in fhort, only by believing all tie articles of the 
Chrijlian faith) manifefted by keeping God 's holy will and 
commandments, that the peace of our Jerufalem can 
be reftored : and God forbid that on this folemn oc- 
cafion we fhould afk pardon for fins which we do not 
intend to forfake, or faft for offences in. which we 
refolve to pcrfiil ! 

But, that it may le well with us and our children for 
ever, let us now at length, in good earned, unite our 
hands, our hearts, and our prayers, againft thofe ene- 
mies (be they who they may) who meditate war, not 
only againft the Parent State, but againft every thing 
that is eftabliflied, venerable and good, whether in 
that country or in this : and more efpecially let us fet 

Y a ourfelves 


ourfelves againft thofe flill worfe enemies, our own 
fins. Thus, and thus only, may all things, by the 
bleffing of God, yet be ordered and fettled on the left 
and fureft foundations ; and truth andjuftice, peace and 
bappinefs, religion and piety, may yet be e 
among us, for all generations ! 


( 3*5 ) 



GENESIS, ch. xiii. ver. 7, 8, 

And there was aftrife between the berdfmen of Air ant's 
tattle, and the herdfmen of Lot's cattle : and tie Ca- 
naanlte and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. 
And Abram fa'id unto Lot, Let there be no Jlrife 
between thee and me, I pray thee ! and between thy 
herdfmen and my herdfmen ; for we be brethren. 

AT gives me great pleafure, my brethren, to fee fo 
many of you aflembled together on this occafion ; 
not perhaps fo much becaufe it is on this occajion, as 
becaufe I am happy in every opportunity that occurs 
of rniniftering to your edification. The occafion of 
our prefent meeting is, no doubt, an extraordinary 
one ; and I am not to wonder, that it has brought 

* Preached in Queen Anne's Parifb, Prince George's County, 
Maryland, in the year 17/4. 

Y 3 more 


more of you to this place than we commonly fee 
here. Whatever may be my private opinion of a 
day of fading, enjoined, not recommended, by per- 
fons of whole authority over us it has been our hap- 
pinefs till now to be ignorant, I conficler that fading 
and prayer are always proper at proper feafons ; that 
times of danger are of courfe times of humiliation : 
and therefore, I have not only thought it right for 
myfelf to comply with this requilition, but I adviied 
you alfo to comply with it ; and your having done 
fo entitles you to my thanks. 

That the-fenhon I am about to deliver to you will 
be fuch an one as thqle who appointed this folem- 
nity expect from the Clergy in general, is more 
than I dare hope. I can only take care, as I will 
do, that it fhall be fuch an one as I think our cir- 
cumdances require ; and which, whild it gives no 
jud caufe of diffatisfaclion to any one, may fugged 
lome ufeful and acceptable indruclion to all. 

The book of Genefis deferves to be very generally 
read, if it were only for the many fpecimens of fine 
writing with which it abounds. A celebrated Greek 
critic * has noticed with jud praife one fuch paflage 


l TVV yjctx'V sfftiTrtf, yp/ 

, xals^uvEv, it9w$ lv T>5 

rut vopvv, ET^aV o s& b -, i^jjcri'Tt j yivt&u tyuc,, KXI lywru' ywi&u 
yr ly Ky.i tymra. Longinus. Toupii Editio. p. 34. 

" So likewife the Jewifh legiflator, no ordinary perfon, having 
< 4 conceived a juft idea of the power of God, has nobly exprefTed 



in the beginning of the book : and had he gone ou 
to the hiftory of Jofeph, or to the flory of the text, 
there can be no doubt but that he would have ac- 
knowledged that they poflefs the two charadleriflics 
of competition which are fuppofed of all others to be 
the mod difficult to attain and unite ; I mean dig- 
nity and limplicity. The Scriptures indeed are re- 
plete with inilances of that fententious and pregnant 
brevity which critics have extolled in profane writers. 
Of this kind are the following pafTages : And be 
arofe and rebuked tie wind, and faid unto the fea, 
Peace ! lejlill! and tie wind ceafed, and there was a 
great calm. Tien crkd they all again, faying. Not 
this man, hit Barabbas ! now Barabbas was a robber. 
Many other fimilar paffages might be recoil eel ed *: 
but, for the prefent, it will be fufficient to inftance 
that of the text : Let there, I fray thee, be no ftrife 
between flee and me, and between thy herdfmen and my 
lerdfmen ! for we be brethren. 

The account given in this book of the patriarchal 
times is uncommonly interefting ; both as it is the 
only authentic one of the firft ages of the world ; and 
as it exhibits a faithful view, not only of events of great 
moment in the hiftory of mankind, but of aboriginal 

it in the beginning of his law. And God faid-What ? Let 
there be light, and there was light ; let the earth be, and the 

earth was." Smith's Tranflation, fed. ix. p. 41. 

* For, hefpake, and It was done; be commanded, and'itjtoodfajl. 
Lord, ifthou wilt, tbou canfl make me clean ! I will, be tbou ckan. 

Y 4 Jlien 


men and primeval manners, undebafed by fable. It 
contains the hiftory of a people, who, in fome intereft- 
ing particulars, are without a parallel in the world. 
'This Angularity confuted not merely in their origin, 
of which we have fuller and more faithful accounts 
than we have of any other people ; but in this, that 
whilft moft of the other nations of the earth have, in 
fome period of their hiftory, degenerated into the 
favage ftate, this never has been the cafe with the 
Jews. Of no other people can it be faid that they 
have always been a diftinc~t people, and always civi- 
lized. The general hiftory of the human race is, 
that at the creation and originally they were civilized, 
and have become favage only through corruption. 
Now, to have refifted or efcaped fuch corruption 
from a period more remote than any other people can 
carry back their hiftory, exhibits, if not human nature, 
at leaft the focial ftate of man, in a new point of 
view*. In fome refpedls, no doubt, like the reft of 
the human race, this wonderful people have con- 
formed to, and been influenced by, time, place, and 
climate : but it has alfo been peculiar to them never 
to have been left wholly to their own guidance and 
direction. They were fubjedled to a fuperior con- 
troul, and at the fame time enjoyed a perfect free- 
agency ; two points of deep moment, the truth of 

* See this important point in the hiftory of man very ingeniously 
and clearly made out in " Two Letters on the Savage State, ad- 

" drefled to Lord Kaimes," by Dr. Doig of Stirling. Printed 

for Robinfons in Paternofter-row, 1/92. 



which it is much eafier to prove than it is to define 
and comprehend. In all the ordinary affairs of life 
they appear to have been governed by thofe maxims 
by which mankind in general are governed ; but in 
whatever related to government and religion they 
were under the particular directions of the Almighty. 
In what manner, however, or to what extent this di- 
vine influence was exerted, no human powers can 
pretend to afcertain. All thefe circumftances render 
the brief accounts left us of them highly dcferving of 
attention. Accounts of a people in the infancy of 
ibciety are always interefting : but, in addition to the 
common incidents occurring in the hiflory of a com- 
mon people, that of the Patriarchs has in it thofe ex- 
traordinary circumftances juft mentioned ; and there- 
fore differs materially even from that of their own 
pofterity, when their civil government, though flill a 
theocracy, came to bear a nearer refemblance to the 
inftitntions of other countries. Indeed, their govern- 
ment never ceafed to differ from all other governments 
till it ceafed to exiil : it was always eminently patri- 
archal. The head or fupreme of the ftate was, em- 
phatically, God ; and to that circumftance it owes it's 
title : but, under him, at leaft in their earlier periods, 
each family and each individual were trained, in what- 
ever related to the general weal, to look for no other 
law than the will of the father of the family ; and his 
will was regarded as the will of God. Their man- 
ners were frmple : in general they were fhepherds , 
the cultivation of the foil becoming a more general 


employment among them only in a more improved 
flate of fociety. For a long time there appears to 
have been no divifion of landed property : the whole 
world was one general common : and the owners of 
flocks and herds being at liberty to chooie the bed 
paftures wherever they could find them, ftaid no 
longer in a place than that place could maintain them. 
Permanency of landed property took place only when 
paflures for cattle were changed for vallies ftanding 
thick with corn : and when a part became in veiled 
in any individual, or numbers of individuals, it 
became fo only on the principle of prior occft- 

It was in this Hate of fociety, that is to fay during 
their paftoral life, that the incident mentioned in the 
text took place. It may perhaps feem extraordinary 
that, amidft many occurrences poffibly not lefs im- 
portant to Abraham, and more interefting to pofteriry, 
which muft have happened, but which the facred 
hiftorian has omitted to record, he fhould have been 
fo careful to preferve this little family quarrel. But, 
if it be little or infignificant in itfelf, it was not fo in 
it's confequences : the mentioning it, therefore, is a 
proof not only of theexaclnefs and fidelity of Mofes, 
but of his Ikill and judgment as an hiftorian. His 
fubjecl was the hiftory of God's chofen people : and 
if in the profecution of his work it was neceflary (as 
no doubt it was) to fpeak of the feparation which took 
place between the families of Abrarn and Lot, it was 
alfo necefTary to affign the reafon of it : that reafon. 



33 1 

was this Jlnfe or quarrel between their refpc&ive 

There is another point of view in which the infrr- 
tion of this ftory appears to be of moment. The 
leading object and aim of the Scriptures of the Old 
Teitament was to keep alive the expectation of the 
rcftoration of mankind by the Mefliah. Now, this 
Jlnfe led to a reparation of the two kinfmen ; and 
that reparation led Lot into a quarrel and a war with 
the petty kings on the plains of Sodom. In this war, 
notwithstanding their feparation, Abram, entirely for 
the fake of Lot, took a part. Had he not done this, 
or had not the hiftorian recorded it, we fhould have 
known nothing of Melchifedech, whom the Apoftle 
fo remarkably holds out to us as a type, if not an ex- 
hibition or real perfonification, of the Mefliah. 

Of little moment, moreover, as we may now think 
the fubjecl of Jl rife, it was not fo in the eftimation of 
thofe between whom it happened. The contentions 
of thefe patriarchal chiefs may be fuppofcd to Live 
been, who fhould firft choofe and enjoy the mod 
fliady tree, under which they might retreat to (him 
the rays of a meridian fun ; or at what well each fliould 
water their refpe&ive herds. Compared with the 
more extenfive and more complex intercfts ufually 
involved in the quarrels of modern rulers, I grant 
they appear to be petty and infignificant. But the 
principle which fet them at variance was probably 
the fame with that which is ftill at the bottom ofmoft 
quarrels; I mean pride: for, ty pride 'only cwieth 



contention. Pride and ambition are plants which wiff 
grow in any foil and in any fituation : they thrive in 
iimfhine, and do not die in the fhade; 

The hiftory of mankind confifts, alas ! 6f little elle 
than a recital of quarrels. All thofe great events 
which fo adorn the hiftoric page are compofed of 
fuch 'Violence and frrife, and wars and fightings, as 
might better comport with the characters of wild 
beads, than of rational creatures *. Some have gone 
farther, and alledged that a ft ate of nature is & ftate of 
war; that manf is naturally hoflile to man ; and that, 
though naturally focial and gregarious, yet (as if 
fiercer than either wolves or bears, which rarely attack 
each other) mankind felclom meet in large bodies 
but for the purpoie of deftroying one another. If 
this- be a fair, it certainly is not a flattering, picture of 
human nature : and every man in this cafe may 
with too much propriety exclaim, in the words of the 
Prophet, Woe is me, my mother, that thou haft lorn me 
a man of ft rife, and a man of contention to the whole 
earth ! 

Abram loved and practifed peace ; yet even Abram 
could not always avoid contention. Theftrife fpoken 
of in the text was foon fucceeded by another do- 

* " To fpeak impartially, both fayings are very true, that man to 
" man is a kind of god, and that man to man is an arrant wolf." 
-Hobbes's Dedication to the Earl of Devonfhire. 

f *' Voluntas Isedendi omnibus quidem ineft in ilatu naturae.'* 
~ -Hobbes de Cire. 



meftic difpute ; when the unfeafonable joy of Sarah 
urged him to cad out the bond-woman Hagar and 
her fon Ifhmael. A fnnilar fate feems to have pur- 
fued his fon Ifaac. When, through the unrcafonable 
jealoufy of Abimelech and the Philiftines, he was 
driven from Gerar, and had pitched his tent in the 
valley of Gerar, even there the herdfmen drove with 
his herdfmen for fome wells of water which his own 
fervants had digged*. Efau and Jacob (as ominous of 
their future fortunes) ftrugglcd, we arc told, in the 
womb of their mother. And how truly Efau was bom 
a man of ft rife ^ appears from the prophecy of his father 
that \itjhould live by the fword. This prophecy was 
abundantly fulfilled in the hiftory of his pofterity. 

* It is not at all extraordinary that we find fo many inftances ia 
facred hiftory of difputes concerning water. In tracing the infti- 
tutions of fociety refpe&ing the right of property, Blackftone juflly 
remarks, that when a people quitted hunting, from the uncertainty 
of that method of provifion, and gathered together flocks and herds 
of a tame and fequacious nature, " the fupport of thefe their cattle 
" made the article of water a very important point. And therefore 
" the book of Genefis (the moft renerable monument of antiquity, 
' confidered merely with a view to hillory) will furnifli us with 
"frequent inftances of violent contentions concerning wells ; the 
fs exclufive property of which appears to have been eftablifhcd in 
'* the firfl digger, or occupant, even in places where the ground and 
" herbage remained yet in common. Thus we find Abraham, who 
" was but a fojourner, afferting his right to a well in the country 
" of Abimelech, and exading an oath for his fecurity, becaufe he 
" had digged that well.' And Ifaac, about ninety years after- 
" wards, reclaimed this his father's property ; and after much con- 
" tention with the Philiftines, was fuffered to enjoy it in peace." 

Blackft. Comm. vol. ii. p. 5. 



Jofephus thus defcribcs them : " They were a very 
" turbulent and diforderly people ; always addicled to 
<c commotions, and rejoicing in changes ; beginning 
" war on the lead adulation of thofe who befought 
" them, and haftening to battles as it were toafeaft." 
As for Jacob, deep indeed were the draughts which he 
drank of thefe waters of ftrife. His whole life was 
embittered by alienations of friends, family feuds., and 
the difobeclicnce of children. 

Even the mild fpirit of Chriftianity has not been 
able to fubdue this rooted propenfity of our natures 
to wars and fightings. The world goes on as it begun. 
Egyptians are foil Jet againjl Egyptians : iveJitUj/gbt, 
every one againjl bis brolber, and every one againjl bis 
neighbour ; city agawjt city, and kingdom againjl king- 
dom. When we confnlcr the Chriftian world, dif- 
tracledand defolated as it always has been, and flill is, 
by the moft unrelenting and deadly wars, it is im- 
pofliblc not to remember our Saviour's prediction, 
and, remembering, not to acknowledge how abund- 
antly it has been fulfilled, that be came 'not to fend 
feace on tbe carlb, but a fword. In defiance of the 
peaceful laws of the Prince of Peace, Chriftians are as 
contentious as if they were ftill in tbe gallof Initcrnejs : 
;md fo little arc we imbued with that evangelical 
charity which enjoins love even to an enemy, that, 
like Heathens and Romans, we count it a merit and 
a virtue to be warlike. And yet, in the words of 
St. AuViin. *' fo abominable are wars, that even the 
'' moil juit arc to be detcftcd, and^ as far as poffible, 

" avoided ; 


w avoided ; fince they are fcarce ever fo fuceefsful, but 
" they bring with them more evil than good*." 

It is of the nature of error, both in principle and 
pra&ice, to fpread and communicate itfelf : and of all 
errors none are fo contagious as ill humours, enmities, 
and quarrels. As though it were not enough, and 
more than enough, to be captious and quarrelfome 
ourfclves, we are at particular pains to intereft and 
involve others in our difputes. And, unhappily for 
the peace of the world, the fpreading of enmity is 
rarely attended with much difficulty ; innfmuch as 
fomc are not more eager to infecl, than others arc 
willing to be infeclcd. To render this great evil in 
fociety ftill more general, there are, in every com- 
munity, fbmc fuch firebrands as Solomon calls wrath- 
ful men, ready to for xp ftnfe ; ready cither to blow 
the coals of contention, or to add fuel to a flame al- 
ready kindled. Thcfe are the dark, tinfecn, and 
unnoticed, inftruments of mifchief, who, working 
under ground, produce fo many concuffions in our 
moral world ; juft as fubtcrraneous fires occafion 
earthquakes in the natural world. And no man, 
whatever be his wifdom or his integrity, is out of the 
reach of their influence. When the objecl is to in- 
ftigate and drive us on to a quarrel, we all Jubmit to 
be dictated to, and tutored, even by our own herdf- 
mcn. The infignificance, or even the worthlcflncfs 

* Mihi fane adeo invifa eft difcordia, ut veritas etiam 

" difpliceat feditiofa."-- - Erafmi Epift. ad Petr. Barbyr. Brug. 



of the perfon who prefcribes, is, in this inftance, no 
fecurity againft the poifon which is adminiftered. 
Like other poifons, this too is made palatable by the 
admixture of fome lufcious ingredient ; which, in the 
cafe before us, was the profpect of gratifying an in- 
ordinate paflion for revenge. A pill thus gilded we 
fwallow without hefitation. So apt are even wife and 
good men to be caught by the enticing words of thefe 
torrufters ly flattery > that the only means of fafety, 
even to fuch men, is to leave off contention before it be 
meddled wi/b. Let no man flatter himfelf that quar- 
rels are inlignificant, becaufe they are only between 
ordinary individuals, and for infignificant caufes. A 
little leaven leaveneth tie whole lump ; and a quarrel 
begun by a few hunters (as was the cafe in Canada in 
the laft war) may, in a fhort time, extend from one fide 
of the globe to the other. When the water's of ft rife 
are once ftirrcd, and thrown into an agitation, the 
circles, which at firft are final), foon widen and fpread, 
and reach the utmoft verge of the lake. Such being, 
in general, the beginning of quarrels, a,nd fuch too 
the way in which they terminate, no man can be too 
anxious or too careful to follow the Apofllc's ad- 
vice, to mark tbofe ivho caufe diinftons, and to avoid 

On Abram's departure out of Egypt, he was ac- 
companied by his faithful kinfman and fellow-pilgrim 
Lot. The place of their deftination was Beth- el, the 
place where his tent had been, at the beginning. Here, 
in due time, they both of them became ricb in flocks > 



and herds, and tents, as well as injilver and gold. One 
confequence of this change of circumftances was, as 
might have been forefeen, that the land was not able 
to hear them that they might dwell together. Thus 
llraitened in their fettlement, fome little interferences 
in their refpeclive interefts were hardly to be avoided. 
Unfortunately they were not avoided : difputes began, 
which were foon ripened into enmities ; and at length 
there was a ftrife between their herdfmen. 

For aught that appears, both Abram and Lot were 
well difpofed to dwell together in unity. There is good 
reafon to believe, that, had they been guided only by 
their own judgments and their own inclinations, thefe 
flight occafions of controverfy would have pafled over 
without any unpleafing confequences. But it feems 
to have been the misfortune of thefe friendly kinfmen 
to have had unfriendly dependants. Thefe fubordi- 
nate perfons, being themfelves enemies to peace, foon 
contrived to involve their mafters in a Jlrife which 
themfelves had begun. Men of mild and yielding 
tempers, who, in cafes of competition, know the hap- 
py art gently to give way, (which may eafily be done 
without any relinquiftunent of their right,) can live 
any where, and with any people, unmolefting and 
unmolefted; whereas the captious and the frovvard 
will find occafions of quarrelling even in a wildernefs 
and with brethren. The whole world does not afford 
room enough for fuch irritable tempers to dwell in, 
without incommoding others, or being themfelves 

Z incommoded. 


incommoded *. Kingdoms are fhaken and over- 


turned, to gratify thefe perturbed fpirits, whofe na- 
tural-element is a florm. 

Had there been a better undemanding between 
thefe wrangling herclfmen, unable as the land is 
laid to have been to bear them both, they might 
longer have continued to dwelt together, not only 
with pleafure, but with mutual advantage. And had 
they regarded the true interefts of their matters, they 
certainly would not have fuffered any little rivalfhips 
to have feparated them : for, in addition to the affecl- 
ing confederation that they were brethren, it behoved 
them to ftrengthen themfelves by a clofe alliance, 
facaufe the Canaanite and the Perizzite then dwelled in 
the land^. 

Notwithftanding fuch ftrong motives both of duty 
and interefl urged them to a contrary conduct, they 
fuffered their judgments to be warped and blinded by 
their paflions, and there was a Jlrlfe. Provocations 
.were given, and offence was taken : on the one fide 
there were perhaps fome ill-judged haughty airs of 
fuperiority ; and on the other, a no lefs ill-judged 
petulant fpirit of contradiction. 

If, in a difcourfe of this nature, I might be per* 

* " Unus Pellaeojuveni non fufficit orbis; 
' jEftuat infclix angufto limite mundi." 

Juven. Sat. x. 1. 168. 

f Thefe, it is probable, arc the words neither of Abram nor of- 
Lot, but of the hiftorian. 



mitted to defcribe the farther progrefs of this patri- 
archal ftrife, according to the ideas and the Ianguag6 
of modern times, it is eafy to fuppofe that the herdf- 
men of Abram, in fuch a ftate of mind, might have 
faid, Your mafter is but a tenant at will to ours : he 
gat not tie land in fojjejjion by bis own fword ; nor, 
even now, when he is become richer, can bis own 
right arm fave him. You, therefore, are our tribu- 
taries ; and we have the right to exercife dominion 
over you. It is not for you to water your flocks at 
thefe fprings, or graze them in thefe paftures, without 
our leave. Thefe wells are not of your digging : you. 
were not the firft occupants of thefe fair demefnes : 
unfupported by us, you never could have overcome 
all the dangers you had to encounter on your firft 
fettling here ; nor, at this moment, is it at your cod 
that the Canaanite and the Perizzite are kept in awe. 
In confideration of your inability, we have hitherto 
forborne to levy any contributions on you : but you 
are now rich ; and though even yet you cannot 
wholly remunerate us, you may pay back fome por- 
tion of your debt. Aware, however, as we are, of 
the perverfenefs of your difpofitions, and judging of 
your future conduct from the paft, we will truft no- 
thing to your own fenfe of propriety, honour, and 
juftice. You (hall therefore now be taxed, and 
made to contribute to the common fupport, not at 
your own, but at our difcredon : and we therefore 
refolve to make regulations and laws which fhall 

Z 2 " bind" 


" bind" the whole community, and therefore you alfo, 
*' m all cafes wbatfoever" 

The ufual confequence of imperioufly demanding 
more than perhaps in wifdom we ought to have 
afked, is an infolent refufal of that which we had a 
fair title to have expefted. Lot's herdfmen, no doubt, 
had their anfvver ready ; and, judging from it's confe- 
quences, we may well fuppole that it was fufficiently 
fharp and exafperating. 

" We, as well as you/' they might reply, " are the 
" denizens of Nature. She, who produced us all 
s( equal, gave no man authority over another. At 
* e the expence of our own blood, at the hazard of 
" pur own fortunes, and without the leail charge to 
*' you, we effected this fettlement in thefe diflant 
(e and inhofpitable wilds, lled with numerous and 
" warlike nations of barbarians. No power on earth 
'^has a right to impofc taxes, or to take the fmalleil 
" proportion of our property, without our confent*." 
You have already grown rich out of our fubftance. 
Hitherto you have eaten our fruits and drank our milk ; 
and have been warmed with the wool which our flocks 
did yield. You are aujlere men> who take up what 
you laid not down, and reap what you have not fawn, 
Too long have you made us your hewers of wood, and 
drawers of 'water ; but we will now aflert our natural 
rights; we will now be our own mailers, and no 

e^ , Declarations. 



longer fubmit to be diredlcd and controuled by you 
" in any cafe whatfoever." 

It may be remarked that, in thefe mutual charges 
and recriminations, the perfons urging them weni 
probably not without fome reafon on both fides. 
Had the allegations which each party produced 
again ft the other been wholly ungrounded, \htjtrtfe 
which they oceafioned would hardly have found fo 
many advocates and abettors. But, with this mutual 
difpofition in the herdfmen both of Abram and Lot to 
exaggerate and aggravate all the little circumftances 
on which it was pretended to be founded, an accom- 
modation was now almolt hopelefs. Happily, how- 
ever, their Jtr/fes were accommodated, and by means 
as natural and eafy as they were juft and generous. 

It became Lot, as the younger man, as the depend- 
ant of Abram, and more efpecially as being under 
infinite obligations to him, to have made the firft 
overtures towards a reconciliation. If he was the 
aggre/Ior, it was his duty ; if the injured party, it 
would have done him flill more honour. 

But, though Lot made no fuch facrifice to peace, 
Abram did *. " The elder, and wifer, and worthier 

ov rcAy, -CV 
ct'vtyMiThtf tv; 

> ^m>g t$i). M 
Tigos uv, < zr^oo-5xOo. JCa* Q 

editio Mciboiftii, vol. i. 410. p. 127. 

7 3 f : perfon 


" perfon relinquifheth his own right to his inferior, for 
" peace-fake ; leaving us a noble example for our 
" imitation*." He feems no fooner to have heard 
of the unhappy difturbances between their refpeclive 
herdfmen, than (not waiting till Lot himfelf fhould 
fee fit to take up the matter in a regular way, and 
flate all thofe real or imaginary grievances about 
which the ftrife had been raifed) with all the meek- 
nefs and magnanimity of a man who is truly great, he 
came forward to his nephew with a CONCILIATORY 
PROPOSITION. He did not, at all hazards, vindicate 
his own herdfmen : neither did he clamoroufly inveigh 
againft the fuppofed unreafonable jealoufies of the 
fervants of his kinfman. He was aware that fuch 
recriminations could anfwer no good end ; they could 
only lead to an endlefs labyrinth of ftrife and delate. 
With a degree of prudence, furpafled only by his 
benevolence, he took it for granted that his own fer- 
vants, as well as thofe of his kinfman, had been to 
blame : and therefore, to prevent, if ppffible, any fuch 
mifunderftandings in future, he propofed new terms, 
and a new plan of alliance. 

Till now, my nephew, he might fay, we have lived, 
if not wholly without difputes, yet without ftrife : we 
have experienced the ties of affection to be fufficientiy 
ilrong bonds of connexion. Thofe other fecurities, 
which the complex interefts of our growing profpe- 
riry have now rendered neceflary, were not wante4 

* Poole's Annotations, 



daring our infant ftate. It is to be lamented (not 
that thefe fecurities are become neceflary, for I might 
as well regret that we and our dependants are hu- 
man beings, or that we are wealthy and opulent, but) 
that they could not be had without this interruption 
of our former harmony. Yet, if managed with tem- 
per and prudence, even this conteft may be turned to 
a good account. It will oblige us to review the con- 
ditions of our union : and if, in any refpe&, they be 
found unfuitable to our prefent circumftances, they 
may, by a new modification, be rendered not lefs 
permanent than mutually advantageous. It can 
anfwer no good purpofe to enquire too curioufly, 
whether thy fervants or mine have been mod in fault. 
The probability is, both have been to blame : but we 
(hall be ftill more fo if we do not immediately put an 
end to thejtrife. How much foever thy deluded 
herdfmen may have fought to prejudice thee againfl 
me, I cannot believe that thou haft ever ferioufly 
wifhed to withhold that eafy tribute of afliftancc 
which, by our patriarchal conftitution, thou knowcft 
I have a right to expccT: ; which I want, and thou 
canfl give ; and which, as is well known to thee, is 
abfolutely neceflary for our common defence againft 
tbe Canaamte and tie Perizzite. Let no malicious 
meddler perfuade thee to imagine, that I either do, 
or ever will, afk more. Why fliould I ? Is not the 
land mine, by the efpecial promifc of God ? By the 
bleffing of his providence on my honeft induftry, 
tie cattle that thou fecft upon a tbonfond bills are mine. 



What motives then can I have, were I fb difpofed, to 
covet any thing that is thine ; much lefs to take it 
]?y violence f Take, then, that thine is y and go thy 
way : feparate thy f elf, I fray thee, from me ! in place, 
but not in affection. Every other claim that might 
be urged, of intereft, of power, or of duty, I wave : 
all the indignities and injuries which, during the do- 
minion of paffion, thy herdfmen have offered to mine, 
I overlook and forgive. I can even bear to be con- 
fidered as having provoked the Jlrlfe ; fo far at lead 
as a blameable inattention to both thy beft intereffs 
and my own, through an excefs of fecurity, may be 
deemed a provocation. Waving the right which I 
may be fuppofed to have to look for the firft overtures 
of reconciliation from thee, I am contented to become 
a petitioner for the renewal of our love. Let there, 
I pray thee, he noftrife between thee and me ! I un- 
happily, we do not retain fo much influence over our 
refpe6live herdfmen as to prevent their Driving, let 
us not fuffer them to involve us in their quarrel: 
Jet there he no Jf rife BETWEEN THEE AND ME. If 
neither a fenfe of duty, nor a fenfe of intereft, can 
prevent our taking fome part in their Jlrife, let us not 
think it much to facrifice our refentment to our affec- 
tions. If we cannot live together in peace, we can 
part in peace. To part is no wifhof mine; I recom- 
mend it only as the leaft of two evils : but it certainly 
is better to part than to quarrel ; better, chiefly, be- 
caufe we are brethren. 

However difpofed to accommodation and peace 




Abram was. Lot appears to have littened with far too 
much complacency to the peevifh remonftrances of 
his herdfmen ; and, adopting their tenets, he could 
not long hefitate about conforming to their conduct. 
Though he certainly had no good reafons to give for 
refilling to clofc with Abram' s proportion for peace, 
he yet was refolute in determining to reject it : and 
fo, being unable to anfwer, there is nothing unfair in 
the fuppofition that he either mifunderftood or mif- 
reprefented it. I can even fuppofe that the overture 
made by Abram, towards a reconciliation, was inter- 
preted into a conceffion extorted from fear : and 
in that view it was eafy to improve it into an argu- 
ment with him and his herdfmen for keeping up the 
breach, and even becoming more violent. Poffibly 
thcfe factious herdfmen now likewife began to fill the 
head of their too pliant lord with projects of gran- 
deur. He had already beheld, with longing eyes, the 
rich plains of Jordan : and he fecms to have little re. 
gardcd what were the manners of the people, fo that 
he might but rule over them. Impatient of rettraint, 
and longing for independence, he yet was not fatif- 
fied to become his own matter unlefs he alfo gave law 
to others : though, in the eye of reafon, it certainly 
would have been rnore to his honour to have re- 
mained the ally and the friend of Abram at tie flace 
oftbe altar by Bethel, than it could be even to prcfidc 
over the men of Sodom, who were ivicked, andfinners 
Before God exceedingly. Thus tutored, and thus dif- 
pofed, we are not to wonder that, on Abram's %- 



getting an idea of parting, Lot eagerly took him at 
his word, and journeyed ecift, and dwelled in the cities 
of the plain, and pitched Us tent towards Sodom. 

There is no one topic of inftruclion on which it is 
more needlefs to accumulate argument or evidence 
than on this, that mankind are often made miferable 
by the accomplifhment of their wifhes. It is a lefTon 
which every man's own experience can hardly fail to 
have taught him : and yet, as though we were de- 
termined not to be made wife by experience, convic- 
tion is imprefled upon conviction in vain ; mankind 
are flill tenacious of their fuppofed rights and privi- 
leges, and ftill contend for them with heat and 
anger ; and thus lofe their peace of mind and their 
happinefs, without gaining even the objects for which 
they ftrove. That, as individuals, we fhould miftake 
phantoms for realities, is not perhaps (confidering the 
weaknefs of our judgments, and the ftrcngth of our 
paflions,) more than might be expected ; but it 
might have been hoped that fuch volumes of inftruc- 
tion as the hi (lory of the world affords would have 
had more influence on the conduct of communities. 
There is not an hitlory of a nation, ancient or modern, 
which does not furnifh infiances in abundance of 
their having often egrcgioufly miftaken their own 
heft intereils. When all the men of Schechem^ as if 
farfeited with the felicity they enjoyed under Gideon, 
(calling thcmfclves the people of Ifrael) furnifhed 
Abimelech with threejcore and ten pieces of Jiher to 
lire light and vain p erf ons to follow him, they fucceed- 


ed in their project, and Abimelcch became their 
king : though the only reafon given for their engag- 
ing in fuch a revolution is, that their hearts inclined 
to follow Abimelech. The confequences to be ex- 
pected from fuch a proceeding were not more natural 
than they were j lift : all the evil of the men of Schechem 
did God render iipon their heads ; and upon them cams 
the curfe of Jotha m, the f on ofjerubbaal. It has been, 
and it is, the curfe of men every where, in their col- 
Ic6tive capacities, as well as individuals, to miftake 
change for reformation. Not contented with excel- 
lence, we foolifhly grafp at perfection ; and, in the 
purfuitof it, frequently plunge into the very mifchiefs 
from which we fancied we were efcaping. Lot was 
happy with Abram, and might long have remained fo, 
had he been fo fortunate as to avoid the fufpicions, 
the jealoufies, and the ftrifes inftilled into him, and 
fomented by the lufy-hodics around him. He parted 
from Abram on the pretence of finding peace and 
quietnefs elfcwhcre ; and was foon involved in a war, 
which ended in the utter deftruclion of his property, 
and in his own captivity : and had he not been refcued 
by that benevolent relation, whofe friendfhip and pro- 
tection, in a vain confidence of his own ftrength, he 
had juft before too wantonly flighted, he might long 
have mourned in bondage thole mifchiefs whiph he 
had drawn down on his own head. 

You have no doubt anticipated the application 

: which I propofe to make of this intercfting ftory : it 

has, indeed, fo near a rcfemblance to our prcfent 

a iituation, 


iituation, and the reflections with which I have ac- 
companied the narration of it are fo appofite to our 
circumftances, that I feem, in fome fort, to have pre- 
cluded the neceffity of bringing it more home to us. 
&ftrife, alas ! is begun between the herdfmen of our 
Parent State and our herdfmen ; which, unlefs it can 
be accommodated, will too probably be fatal at lead 
to one of the parties, if not to both. Happy would 
it be for us, as well as for our kinfmen, who we fay 
have faigbl this quarrel againfl us, if in this dreadful 
moment of fufpence, whilft on every fide thofe who 
imagine rnifchief in their hearts are continually gather- 
ing together for war, fome gentle fpirit would arife 
and perfuade us, as erft Mofes was perfuaded, to fend 
mejfengers out of this our wildernefs of Kedemoth, unto 
Sihon king of Hejbbon, with words of peace. 

It can, I think, admit of no difpute, that an accom- 
modation between the Colonies and the Mother Coun- 
try, on almoft any terms, is infinitely more to be de- 
fired by both countries than even the moft fignal 
fncceffcs in war. In the latter way, to fucceed is to 
become a feparate people : not as Abram and Lot 
became a feparate people, whilft yet they flill con- 
tinued to be friends ; but as having no longer any 
community either of intcreft or affedtion, as perfect 
aliens to each other, and, in fhort, as totally diftinct 
and different nations. There feems, no poffibility of 
any middle courfe. Confidering then this complete 
feparation as the molt probable confequence of fuccefs 
in war, it much imports us not only to count the 




coft, but alfo the value of the acquifition, if baply \vc 
ihould obtain it. Independency is the forbidden 
fruit which our tempters hold out to us : and it is 
our duty, hardly in a lets degree than it was the duty 
of our firft parents, to calculate the probability there 
is, that their promifes fhall be made good to us, and 
we be as gods. Let us alfo calculate how much more 
probable it is that in tie clay we eat thereof ive jball 
furely die. 

I believe there are few inflances of a people who had 
once been united, who flill fpoke the fame language, 
and ftill profclled the fame religion, becoming dif- 
tin<$t nations. The only one among ancient ftates, 
that I can at prefent recollect, is the Jewifh nation ; 
whichj in the days of Jeroboam, was divided into the 
two kingdoms of Judah and Ifrael. This feparation 
is in every view a cafe fo much in point, that a 
few ftriclures on it cannot be deemed undefervingof 
your co.nfidcration. 

When the folly and the wicked irefs of Jeroboam 
had once made a divifion in the Jewifti kingdom, 
though it was lamented by all the wife and worthy 
men on both fides, it never was in the power of any 
of them again cordially to unite the two parties. 
They no fooner became a divided and diftincl: peo- 
ple, than the ems of their politics alfo became di* 
vided and diftincl, and not feldom completely oppo- 
iite. The few common points, which it was their 
common intereft to promote, were foon ncglccled by 



both ; and, inflead of a common good, both at 
length naturally purfued ends of their own. 

They were, no doubt, both of them equally inte- 
refted in the protection of their common country 
from foreign invafions. But even this was rendered 
difficult, if not impracticable, by the circumilance of 
their having become feparate governments : it availed 
them little that, in the great points of country and 
religion, they might be faid to be Hill one and the 
lame people. Their conftant mutual fufpicions and 
jealouiies, and fometimes their difputes and their 
quarrels, proved a never-failing Ibnrce of detriment to 
themfelves, and advantage to their enemies. Reli- 
gion too felt her fhare of thefe evils ; it being hardly 
poffible for her to efcape unhurt amidfl fuch confu- 
lions of the State. Difputes and contentions, even 
on the mod reafonable grounds, generally terminate 
in uncharitablcnefs : and when charity faileth, piety, 
and even purity of faith, feldom furvive long. 

If it happened, as it fometimes did, that there was 
a good understanding between the two kingdoms, fo 
that they could fay to each other (in the language 
which appears to have been the eftablifhed phrafe 
to exprefs the clofeil alliance and amity between 
thefe two kingdoms) I am as tlou art, my people as thy 
people, and my horfes as thy lorfes ; the alliance was 
never iincere, the amity never cordial. In countries 
fo circumftanced it would have been alrnoft romantic 
to expect it ; for, however common and equally in- 



terefting the caufe might be in which they jointly 
engaged, it was fcarcely poffible for them to purfue 
it with the fame zeal and ardour as if they had ftill 
lived under the obligation and enjoyment of the fame 
common government and common religion. 

The final remit of their difunion was, that Reho- 
loam ajfembled all the houfe of Judah, with the tribe of 
Benja?nin,an hundred and fourf core thoufand men, whica 
were warriors, to fght againft Ifrael. Nay, fueh, as 
the prophet fpeaks, was tie envy that Ephraim lore 
to Judah, and fitch the vexation that Judah gave to 
Ephraim, that there does not appear ever to have 
been an hearty reconciliation between them. For, 
a brother offended is harder to be won than a Jlrong 
city ; and their contentions are like the bars of a caftle. 
Were it not fo common for thofe who have loved 
much, on the breaking out of a quarrel, thusfuddenly 
to change their good-will into hatred, the enmity of 
Rekah, thefon of Remaliah, the king of Ifrael, (who 
actually entered into an alliance with Rezin, king of 
Syria, in the hope that by their united ftrength they 
might completely fubjugate the kingdom of Judah,) 
would be utterly incredible. After various conflicts, 
by which, as had been foretold, they were rendered 
weak, as a reed that is JJjaken in the water ; both be- 
came an eafy prey to their common enemies, and 
were carried away captive, the one into Afiyria, and 
the other into Babylon. 

The fuccefsful afiertion of their liberties againft 
the unwieldy and oppreflive power of Spain by the 



people of Holland, now called the United States,, 
was rather throwing off a foreign yoke, to which they 
liad always fubmitted with reluctance, than revolting 
againft a power and a people of whom they them- 
felves were an eflential part : and therefore, however 
glorious to them or inftructive to the world it may 
be, it cannot with propriety be drawn into a parallel 
with the cafes now under con fi deration. The fepa- 
ration of Portugal from Spain, confidering the juxta- 
pofition of the two kingdoms, the famenefs of their 
language, religion and manners, might have been 
regarded as almoft a cafe in point, were it not that 
that revolution, like a iimilar one in China, affected 
chiefly the family on the throne. Portugal was a 
diftinct kingdom, and perfectly independent of Spain 
for many centuries before the crown was placed in 
1640 on the head of the duke of Braganza : nor 
was any confiderable change made by it, in the form 
of government, the conftitution, or the laws of the 
country. Still, however pure the intentions, how- 
ever honourable the conduct of thofe, who effected 
the two great revolutions in queftion, it is by no 
means fo eaiy to prove, as it is to aflert, that in either 
cafe the people have been eventually great gainers 
by their detachment from Spain. Had not the go,- 
vernment of Spain become fo unaccountably but 
miferably degenerated as it now is, I think it is al- 
moft capable of demonftration, that not only Spain 
would have been a greater and happier country ; 
but Holland, and Portugal alfo, (which are and ever 



muft be fo weak in themfelves, that, exiting as they 
do through the courtefy of the farroundiug king, 
dorns, they can hardly be called Independent States,) 
might have been more fecure, 'and of eourfe more 
happy, even as the fubjefts of Spain.* than they arc 
with the fhadow.only of independency. 

I would it were necefiary to go into the hiftory 
only of pad ages, or of foreign nations, to- (hew the 
fatal efFecls of thefe fallings out among brethren ! But, 
(alas ! the hiftory of the laft century, and what then 
paded among ourfelves, is a perpetual leflbn, at 
lead to Britifh fubjecls, to -leave off contention before 
it la meddled with. 

The unhappy difputes in the reign of the firft 
Charles began, as ours have now begun, about matters 
which, comparatively fpeaking, were but of little mo- 
ment ; and for which, every candid, man mud chari- 
tably believe, the leaders on both fides, had they fore- 
fecn what was to happen, never would have involved 
the nation in all the horrors of a civil war. The points 
in difpute were not at iirfi difHcult to fettle; and no 
doubt the well-meaning (for many fuch there were 
in both parties) would have determined them as eafily 
and as happily as Ab ram's difference with Lot, had 
they not, fatally for themfelves and their country, 
relied on the regular confutation at interference of 
Parliament. " They thought, as mod men did, the 
" government to be fo firmly fettled, that it could 
:f neither be fhaken from within nor from without ; 
*' and that nothing lefs could hurt them than a ge- 

A a " neral 


" neral confufion both of law and gofpel. But, they 
" did not forefee how eafily and how foon that con- 
" fufion might be brought about V 

They eafily might have forefeen, though they did 
not, what fatal confufions mud follow, on their firit 
error of fuffering themfelves to be authoritatively 
dictated to by perfons unknown to the laws, who 
began their reformation by overturning the Eftablifh- 
ed Church. They might eafily have forefeen what 
treatment the State would receive, from obferving 
that which the Church did receive. All that was 
found in doclrine, all that was decent in worfhip, de- 
generated into enthufiafm and confufion. For, how- 
ever the feveral feels confpired together at firfl, and 
united to deftroy the National Church, they united for 
nothing elfc. It was unnatural that they fhould 
unite in any meafure; and therefore, no fooner was 
the only purpofe attained which they propofed to 
themfelves by their union, than they returned as it 
were with frefh force to their innate habits of clif- 
puting and quarrelling. Every feel attempted to 
eftabliQi itfelf : and though they had all difclaimed 
impofition and coercion of every kind in matters of 
religion whilft themfelves were the minority, they 
no fooner got the power into their own hands than 
they themfelves praclifed them with great rigour. 
As if bent on realizing all that their own diflempered 
imaginations had pourtrayed, they perfecuted all who 

* Clarendon, vol. i. p. 102, Svo. 



differed from them, with as much rancour as they 
had affected to apprehend was directed againft them- 

Thefe things were written for our learning : and 
the hiftory of thofe dreadful times may teach us, in 
Ms our day, the things that belong to our peace, before 
they be hid from our eyes. Two things feem now to 
be placed before us, as the objecls of our prefent 
choice ; the gaining wifdom from the experience of 
others, and the obtaining it by coftly experiments 
of our own. To affirm that the former is as effec- 
tual as the latter, might feem prefumptuous ; but we 
are well warranted in affirming, that, if it be not our 
own faults, much wifdom may be obtained from the 
experience of others. Inftead therefore of rafhly 
committing yourfelvcs to an hazardous experiment 
of your own, permit me to recommend it to you to 
confult the inftruclive page of hiftory ; to read, as I 
myfelf have juft read, our Englifli Livy, Lord Cla- 
rendon. His Hiftory of the Grand Rebellion is not 
only the hiftory of fome bad men conducting with 
great ability, and ftill greater fuccefs, a bad caufe ; 
but, as a perpetual warning to all fucceeding gene- 
rations, it (hews how thonfands of good men were 
infenfibly abforbed in the vortex of party, in which 
both they and all that was good perifhed *. Inftead 


* Judge Blackftone fpeaks of thcfe men and their proceeding* 

with great judgment and impartiality, when he fays : " that thofe 

" popular leaders (who in all ages have called.themfeives the people) 



of Meningto the declamaticnsof thofe artful men, who 
gradually lead us to think lefs and lefsof the whole of 
our excellent Conftitution, by inceffantly inveighing 
againft fome of it's parts, it will teach us to admire, 
to reverence, and, if pofiible, to preferve for ever that 
admirable fyftem which was modelled by the wifdom, 
and has been fupported by the virtue, of our anccftors ; 
and can be deftroyed only by the folly and the vice 
of their pofterity. By the examples of thofe times, 
we fee how dangerous the heats even of honed men 
are to themfelves as well as to others, when they are 
not regulated by prudence: for fuch men are, by their 
warmth, more eafily led to adopt meafures planned 
for them by thofe who have fome defign in every 
thing that they do or fay ; than thafe cautious chH- 
dren of phlegm, who, if they feldom delight their 
friends by the performance of any truly great action, 
as feldom diftrefs them by being rafh and precipitate. 
And when once, either through the intemperate zeal 
or the improvidence of good men, ancient land-marks 
are fufFcred to be removed, it is rarely in the power 
even of the honeft part of the community to bring 
back government to it's former dignity, or religion to 
it's primitive purity. 

" began to grow infoleut and ungovernable : their infolence foon 
" rendered them defperate : and defpair at length forced them 
** to join with a fet of military hypocrites and enthufiafts, who 
" overturned the Church and Monarchy, and proceeded with deli- 

" berate folemnity to the trial and murder of their Sovereign." 

Blackflone, Comment, vol. iv. p. 438. 



That many wrong things are thus done among us, 
we are all ready to acknowledge ; as alfo to acknow- 
ledge, and even to boaft of, the excellency of our 
Confutation. Yet, contrary to our duty^ contrary to 
our inter-efts, and contrary, it may be, to our real 
fcntiments, when we dare to avow them, and when 
our judgments are not inflamed by our paffions, 
we help, by our heedleffhefs or our levity, to under- 
mine, if not to fubvert, it's beft fupports, legal liberty 
and the eftablifhed religion. I am at a lofs to fay to 
what caufe we are to afcribe fuch inconliftency, if it 
be not to a want of penetration in us* to difcern the 
confequence of other men's principles, or elfe to a 
want of refolution to maintain our own. 

Whatever may be the wifhes or the aims^of our 
herdfmen, I am fur from thinking that a majority of 
our people, if left to themfelves, have any puipofe of 
driving the ftrifa already begun between us and our 
fellow herdfmen, bej^ond the Atlantic to extremities. 
Even thofe among us who look for the worft iflue of 
it that can happen, I mean a feparation effecled by 
war, muft be inconfiftent, and at variance with their 
own piofeflions, if they would not be better pleafed 
to obtain a feparation without a war. |Y e t 5 w ^ft 
every ftep which our herdfmen take unqueftionably 
j.ends to a feparation, is it pot extraordinary that, in 
all their declarations aud remonftrnnces, they perfift 
officioufly to di%vqvv their having any fuch inten- 
tionsTJWere their policy as direct as I fear it is de- 
termined, they certainly might without blame, and 
A a 3 I Should 


I fhould imagine with advantage, long ago have 
fpoken out, and avowed what fome of their fubordi- 
nate agents now begin to infinuate, by hinting, in 
allufion to my text, Let our progenitor and kinfman, 
with whom we are now at variance, in imitation of 
Abram, bid us feparate ourfelves from him quietly 
and peaceably as Lot did, and all may yet be well. 

It was not on this fide of the Atlantic, 1 believe, that 
this notion was firft broached : and, of all the pro- 
pofals which thofe who from any motive are adverfe 
to the continuance of the union have yet fuggefied, 
this, no doubt, is by far the mod plaufible. Yet 
this, as well as fome other projects, carries fnfpicion 
along with it, if it were only from it's having been 
produced in thefe unfettled times ; times diftinguifh^ 
ed chiefly by Utopian projects of government. It is, 
moreover, to be liflened to with caution and diflruft, 
from it's having been fo eagerly adopted and patro- 
nized by thofe of our herdfmen, who, it is to be 
feared, have at any rate determined on a feparation. 

Sundry circumilances have concurred to give this 
propofal fome celebrity. It has been brought forward 
by an author *, of whofe abilities and integrity the 
world with great reafon entertains a very high opi- 
nion. The difficulties in the way of an accommoda- 
tion are almoft infurmountable, A refolution on the 
part of the Parent State, and the adherents to the 
Parent State in this country, not to feparate, feems 

* Dr, Tucker, 


vx* -T-C7 r ^ c 


too certainly to threaten both countries with a civil 
war : and (hould thofe who are adverfe to a reparation 
be fo fortunate as to be able at laft to effed their 
purpofe of quelling the refractory and the rebellious, 
all the reward they can hope or wifh for is only to 
be juft as they have always been, and what, but for 
thefe difputes, they might and would be at this mo- 
ment. This, however defirable, it is argued, is not 
worth what it mud coft. To enforce the fubmiflion 
of America by arms, will probably coft more than the 
value of the fee-limple of the country. And no in- 
ftance can be given, it is faid, of a people having gone 
fo far in the way of refiftance as the party in this 
country has now gone, and afterwards retreating 
till they were forced to do fo. It will infinitely re- 
dound to the honour of thofe with whom the deter- 
mination of this momentous queftion muft finally 
reft, if, in the face of all thefe difcouragements, they 
can refolve ftill to purfue the plain though difficult 
path of duty, and, without either a voluntary fepara- 
tion, (which, as a remedy, is pregnant with confe- 
quences almofl: as dangerous as the difeafe,) or an 
enforced fubmiflion, at laft be able to heal ourjfrifes. 
Were the queftion to be determined by prefent 
expediency, it is poflible the arguments in favour of a 
feparation might be found to be the ftrongeft. But, 
as fuch a feparation would be a new thing in the world, 
(the inftance in my text, which alone can pretend to 
be a parallel to it, being certainly as to this particular 
point a feeble and imperfect parallel, in as much as 
A a 4 between 


between Abram and Lot there fubfifted no relation 
of fupremacy or fubjecliori,) and as alfo there are in 
this vaft continent many thoufands of refpectable 
men, who, -eonfidering allegiance as a duty, fed it 
impoffible to bring themfel-ves to retain- or relinquish 
it jutl as mere convenience may feem to fuggeft, we 
hope at lead to be permitted to paufe before we 

There is an objeelion of no ordinary magnitude at 
the very threfhold of this novel propofal. It has never 
yet been proved, nor> in my humble opinion, can it 
ever be proved^ that the Parent State can do what is 
afked-; that is to fay, can, without a breach of the 
Cpnftitution, voluntarily withdraw or forbear it's go- 
vernment over America*. Allegiance and protection 
are not merely reciprocrol duties, entirely dependent 
the one on the other. j.Each duty continues to be 
equally obligatory, and in force, -whether the other be 
performed -or not. I Tlicre is no authority to prove, 
that a failure of duty on one fide will jtfftify a like 
failure on the other. The drfobedicnce of the child, 
fo far from furnifhrng the parent with a pretence for 

* Bp. Taylor, in his D.uc~r-or Dubitantium, Book ni. chap. 3. 
p. 137, in anfwer to a gueilion, " Whether it be lawful, and in thf 
*' power of the fupreme prince or magiftrate, to aliene, or lefTen,'hiS 
" princely rights, or to give away any parts of his kingdom ?'" fays, 

" This is certain, -that wtere the princes are triiftees of 

" the people, or where the right of fuccefiion is in a family by law, 
" or immemorial time, no prince can prejudice .his heir, or the people 
" that trufled him. Nothing is here to be done without confent." 



withdrawing bis authority, is the ftrongeft reafon for 
exerting it. Were it othcrwife, there could be no 
fuch crime as rebellion ; nor any right in the magi- 
ftrate to punifh it. Defertion, or abdication, in gover- 
nors, feerns to ftand on the fame footing of criminality 
as defeclion and rebellion in the governed. 

If Great Britain can, merely on her own plcafurr, 
caft off America, it feems to follow, on every principle 
of reafon and law, that America muft be equallv at 
liberty to call off Great Britain. On fuch principles 
all ideas of {lability or permanency in government are 
vifionary : a common partnerfhip in trade is not more 
eafily diflblved, than all the ilrong bonds of govern- 
ment may be fnapped afunder. 

But, it will be alledged, perhaps, that no injury 
can be done or fuftained, if, like Abram and Lot, 
both parties agree to fcparate*. This, no doubt, puts 
the queition on new and more tenable ground. It 
muft be remembered, however, that, even on this 
principle, every man can anfwer only for himfelf. But, 
to juftify a general fcparation, the laws of fociety fecin 
to require that every individual in the community 
fhould voluntarily fiep forward, and declare it to be 
his fettled and determined wifh to feparate : for, 
this is not a cafe in which a majority, even fuppofing 
&ch a majority to exift, can bind a minority f ; in- 
afmuch as majorities can rightfully determine for 
'minorities, only when the perfons compofmg fuch 

* Volcnti non fit injuria. 

f See Hobbcs, cf Dominion, chap, vi, 20. 



majorities are known to and recognized by the laws., 
and act agreeably to the forms of the Conflitution. 

The con frit uted powers of any Nation may no doubt, 
if they fee fit, alter the whole code of it's laws : but 
as fuch powers were conftituted avowedly to conform 
and act agreeably to the Conftitution, the Coniiitu- 
tion itfelf it is not within their competency to alter. 
Like the laws of the Medes and Perfians, that is un- 
alterable ; it can only be diflblved by a diflblution of 
fociety. But, admitting that the unanimous vote of 
a Nation is competent to change it's Conflitution, the 
very ftatement of the fuppofition implies, that without 
fuch unanimity it cannot be changed. Abftra&edly 
confidered, or merely on the footing of natural rights, 
no good reafon can be given, why, in any cafe, a 
minority (liould be bound by a majority. The prin- 
ciple has been adopted into practice merely from 
confiderations of prudence and convenience ; and 
can take place only in regulated focieties, that is to 
fay, in communities governed by laws : and thofe 
laws have determined and fpecified the cafes, in which 
alone minorities (hall be bound by majorities. How- 
ever numerous, then, or however refpectable any ma- 
jorities may be, they have no power to determine for 
the moft insignificant minorities, if they are not re- 
cognized by the laws. Any attempt to enforce fub- 
miffion to their decifions is unlawful and oppreflive ; 
and if, on applying to the law of the land, redrefs can- 
not be obtained, the Conflitution is infringed, and 
Society diflblved. 



If, in defiance of the laws, a mere, plurality of votes 
were fufficient to compel a compliance with the de- 
terminations of any bodies of men not conftitutionallj 
empowered to determine for others, endlefs confufions 
and inconveniencies would enfuc. Queftions of the 
utmoft moment might fometimes be determined by a 
fingle vote, more or lefs. A point which to-day was 
determined in the affirmative, might to-morrow be 
refcinded, either by the death of one of the parties 
voting on that fide of the queftion, or by the coming 
of age of one or more perfons who till then were not 
competent to vote. Thus (as has juft before been 
obferved) all ideas of durability or liability, which 
compofe the very eflence of a Conftitution, muft be 
given up. 

The only rational idea of civil liberty, or (which is 
the fame thing) of a legitimate and good government, 
as to this point, is, when the great body of the people 
are trained and led habitually to fubmit to and acqui- 
efce in fome fixed and fteady principles of conduct. It 
is eflential, moreover, to Liberty, that fuch principles 
{hall be of power fufficient to controul the arbitrary 
and capricious wills of mankind ; which, whenever they 
are not fo controuled, are found to be dangerous and 
deftructive to the beft interefts of fociety. The primary 
aim, therefore, of all well-framed Conftitutions is, to 
place man, as it were, out of the reach of his own power, 
and alfo out of the power of others as weak as himfelf, 
by placing him under the power of law. To counter- 
aft that aim (an<J to do fo is the object of all felf- 



conftituted affemblies) is to carry back focial man to 
his fuppofed original independence, and to throw 
him once more into what has been called a ftate of 
Nature. |In. our own cafe, it is violently pulling down 
an old, well-poifed Conilitution, arbitrarily to intro- 
duce, in it's (lead, what, if it be not anarchy, muft at 
beft be a democracy^ Now, it ought never to be out 
of the recolle&ion ofmankind, that democracies, even 
when eftabliftied. without either tumult or tyranny, 
and by the very general though perhaps not unani- 
mous confent of the community, not contented with 
an equality of rights, in. theory at leaft, naturally aim 
at an equality of poileffi.ons. That, to eftablifh fuch 
a principle, or to promote meafures which are likely 
to lead to it's eftablifhment, majorities may always be 
eafily. obtained, will hardly be difputed. Votes are 
eafily colle6!ed, not only to equalize property, but to 
deflroy all thofe artificial diflindlions in fociety which 
are created by property. Even that alone would be 
an evil of an incalculable extent : but, the evil of 
levelling property goes yet infinitely farther. It de- 
ftroys all the ufual motives to exertion and induftry ; 
and, with them, a long train of concomitant virtues: 
above all, it deftroys fecurity, which forms one of the 
mod endearing charms of the focial ilate. Popular, 
however, as this principle of univerfal fuffrage, dif- 
guifcd under the feducing title of appealing to the 
fovereign will, or the majelty of the people, (ftrange 
exprefilons now firft brought into vogue !) cannot but 
be. even it's warmeft abettors have found it to be 



inconvenient and impracticable. In fome diftricls, of 
no inconfiderable importance, it has not been in the 
power of our reformers, either to detach the people 
from their old Confutation, or to attach them to a new 
one. They cannot be prevailed upon even to aflame 
the appearance of being difpofed to do fo. This is 
the cafe with refpedl to the inhabitants of that large 
tradt of country called Vermont, and alfo with the 
fettlers on our own frontiers near the Kanawa *. To 
fave appearances, then, our herdfmen are pleafed to 
allow, that if any colony fhould fee fit not to come 
into their novel fchemes, they have a righ^to follow 
'their own judgments. However inconfiilent this 
may be with their general doclrines, or general con- 
duel:, we thank them for the conceflion : though, after 
all, nothing more is conceded to fuch fuppofed colony 
or colonies, than, I imagine, was long ago granted to 
the fmaller States of Italy and Germany, by the larger 
ones which furround them. The conceflion, how- 
ever, virtually admits, that if a colony has a right to 
tfand out, fo has any particular county, parith, or 
family, or even an individual. On what principle 
then are the thoufands of unfortunate pcrfons, who 
are (hocked at the guilt of violating their oaths of al- 
legiance, and therefore refufe to fubfcribe to the wild 
notions which are now fo induftrioufly circulated, 
fubje&ed to have their eftates confiscated, and their 
perfons profcribed ? I own, fuch conducl feems to me 

* This has fmce been creeled into a new State, under the name of 
Kentucky ; aa is the cafe allo with Vermont. 



to be the confounding of all clear ideas of moral jiiflice 
in our public capacities j and to eflablifh might, as 
the only criterion of right. 

From all thefe deductions it appears to be proved, 
that Government can, with any fhew of juftice, with- 
hold protection only from thofe who individually ex- 
prefs their defire to break off from the Parent State. 
What proportion thofe may bear to the whole com- 
munity, though I am not wholly ignorant, I pretend 
not to have afcertained with any precifion : but cer- 
tainly they fall far fliort of the numbers which are fo 
oftentatioufly boaftcd of*. 


* I am aware that it is ftill the fa/hion to fpeak confidently of 
tneuniverfality of the revolt of America. But, however peremptorily 
this may be aflerted, I muil be permitted to declare, that it neither 
is, nor ever was, my opinion, that the people of America, properly 
fo called, were generally favourable to the revolt. My reafons for 
this aflertion are, the many and fevere laws which during the con- 
teft were paflcd againil non-jurors. Thofe perfons muft tax the 
leaders of the revolt with great weakncfs, who fuppofe that fuch 
ligour was exercifed through mere wantonnefs. I remember to 
have heard it aflerted, by one who had good opportunities of know- 
ing, and who was not in the habit of aflerting things ramly, that 
more Britons fought againft Great Britain, and more Americans 
againft America, than the natives of either country for their own 
native country. There is, however, direct evidence, that this opi- 
nion concerning the numbers of Loyalifts in America was not held 
only by Loyalifts. " The number of thofe who are in reality male- 
" contents in America, are not fo fmall as may be imagined ; nor 
" are their hopes and views fo humble as many fuppofe.** See a 
fhrewd pamphlet, printed at Philadelphia in 1784, intitled, " Men- 
* tor's Letter to Phocion," p. 20. Mere direct proof could be 



If, then, it be not thought unreafonable that this 
wifli of a portion of our fellow-fubjecls fhould be in- 
dulged, let them, after the example of Lot, choofing 
either the right hand or the left, journey eajlward, 
and, pitching their tents where they lift, leave to us, 
whofe chief anxiety is, at any rate, and by any means, 
to avoid ajlrife, this our Canaan, and it's ancient go- 
vernment ; with which (whether it be in wifdom or 
in folly it feems not to concern them to enquire) we 
are contented. By fuch conduct alone, their praclice 
will be confiftent with their profeffions. That their 
adopting even the moderate phm here recommended 


obtained only by a knowledge of circumftances ; fome of which are 
almoft too minute for obfervation, and fome perhaps hardly fafe to 
promulge. One fa&, of fome moment in this enquiry, fell under 
my own notice. The firft popular elections that were made without 
the authority of law, were made by a mere handful of the people ; 
and thofe too of ordinary character and condition. The county of 
Prince George's, in which I laft refided, was one of the largeft, 
richeft, and moft populous, in the fettled parts of the rich province 
of Maryland : and in that (I affirm, on my own knowledge) the mem- 
bers to the firft Provincial Convention, who were to prepare the way, 
and did prepare it, for the Firft Congrefs, were chofen by three per- 
fons only, of no confiderable rank or property. 

Nor let it be thought an improbable circumftance, that a whole 
people fhould have been made fo materially to contribute to an 
event, of which a very large number of them totally difapproved. 
This was the cafe in the Grand Rebellion ; as was abundantly proved 
at the Jlefloration. " After all this/' fays the noble hiilorian, 
" when a man might rcafonably believethat lefs than an tmiverfal de- 
" feftion of three nations could not have reduced a great king to fo 
w ugly a fate, it ia moft certain that, in that very hour when he 



to them would fuhject both them and us to many and 
great di fad vantages, is not denied : Hill they will be 
lels than they rmift be if we purfue the ftrife in the 
way it is begun. And as, in p-rofecuting their own 
purpofes, they Kttle regard either our inclinations or 
our intercft, what right have they to expect -that we 


** was thus publicly mutthered in the fight of the fun, he had as 
* e great a uHare in the hearts and affeftions of his fubjedls in general, 
<fr was as much beloved, efteemed, arid longed for by the people 'in 
** general of the three nations, us any of his predectffors had ever 
*' been." Lord Clarendon's Rift, book xi. p. 199. 

Alas ! there is no restoration in America, to which I may appeal, 
in proof that the people of that country loved this, even when they 
were driven to rebel again it it ! But the time may come, and let us 
Lope that even now it is at no great diftance, when this proof 
{ball not be wanting ; when this now-feparated people may again 
turn to their once honoured parent, not only with furprife and for- 
row at what is paft, but with all their priiline tendernefs and affec- 
tion j. when, looking back with wonder and gratitude on the long 
courfe of untroubled fecurity and quietnefs which they enjoyed 
under the mild government of this country, and comparing it with 
theconfuflons, the turbulence, and the real oppreffions of fubfequent 
periods, they may naturally be led to wifh once more to become 
(what in a {late of feparation neither they nor we can ever hope 
again to be) one great and happy people. 

Whatever opinion the Public may form of Mr. Burke's fagaclty 
and confiRency, or of Dr. Franklin's fincerity, (which in this in- 
ilince at leaft even I am difpofetf' to believe,) the following quota- 
tjon, bcfides it's being remarkable on other accounts, clearly fhews 
that even Mr. Burke never .believed that the great body of the peo- 
ple in America aimed at independence. In defending himfelf, he 
fays : " If the principles of all he has faid and wrote on the occafum 
" be viewed with common temper, the gentlemen of the party 

" (Mr. 


ftiould be felicitous about theirs ? We fureJy have as 
good a right to preferve the union, even at the ex- 
penee of fome difpleafure and fome difadvantage to 
them, as they can have to diflblve it, to our ruin. 

If both the Mother Country and the Colonies 
iinderflood, and would purfue, their true intercfts, 
their prefent union might undoubtedly be continued 

" (Mr. Fox's) will perceive, that, on afuppofition that the Ameri- 
' cans had rebelled merely to enlarge their liberty, Mr. Burke 
" would have thought very differently of the American caufe. 
11 What might have been in the fecret thoughts of fome of their 
" Leaders, it is impoffible to fay. As far as a man, fo locked up as 
" Dr. Franklin, could be expected to communicate his ideas, I be- 
** lieve he opened them to Mr. Burke. It was, I think, the very 
ft day before he fet out for America, that a very long converfation 
pa{Ted between them, and with a greater air of operinefs on the 
Doctor's fide than Mr. Burke had obferved in him before. la 
" this difcourfe Dr. Franklin lamented, and with apparent fincerity, 
*' the feparation which he feared was inevitable between Great B'ri- 
tain and her Colonies. America, he faid, would never again fee 
fuch happy days as fhe had pafled under the protection of Eng- 
" land. He obferved, that ours was the only inftance of a great 
" empire, in which the moil diflant parts and members had been as 
well governed as the metropolis and it's vicinage ; but that the 
Americans were going to lofe the means which fecured to 1 them this 
rare and precious advantage. The queftion wkh them was not, 
" whether they were to remain as they had been before the troubles ? 
" for better, he allowed, they 'could not hope to be ; but, whether 
" they were to give up fo happy a fitualion without a ftruggle ? 
" Mr. Burke had feveral other co'nverfations with him about that 
" time, in norre of which, foured and exafperated as-his mind cer- 
14 tainly was, did he drfcover any other wi(h in favour of America, 
" than for a fecurity to it's ancient condition." ^-Mr. Burke'* 
Appeal from the New to ihe Old Whigs, p. 37. 

B b much 


touch to their mutual advantage. Even Dr. Tucker 
recommends it to Great Britain to relinquifli her go* 
vernment of America, only on the idea that America 
defires it. Now, this is a point of too much moment 
to be afTumed upon trull:. And you and I, who live 
in America, and are deeply interefted in knowing the 
truth, can affirm, and on as good evidence as the caie 
.admits of r that the people of America do not deiire a 
feparation : and that a very large number (we think, 
-a majority) do- now, and ever will, regard a revolt from 
Great Britain as the greateft evil and heavieft cala- 
mity that can- poffibly befal us. Let the herdfmen 
-of the Parent State-, if,, like ours, they too are infatu- 
ated with the viiionary projects f the times, the 
fpawn of diftempered politics, grant independency to 
thofe who wifh for it : but, to call off thofe alfo who 
can have offended only by being perhaps intem- 
perately loyal ; to forbear to govern thofe who are 
willing to be governed, is not only injustice, but 
tyranny; as wantonly throwing us into the hands of 
the worfl of tyrants, after having encouraged us to 
provoke their bitterefl enmity. 

It is by no means my intention tO'attempt to vindi- 
cate the herdfmen either of America or Great Britain. 
The want of policy in thofe of Great Britain is ac- 
.knowledged in it's fulleit extent; and, were I fo 
.{iifpofed, I could foon find materials for many bitter 
invectives againil them. Their whole conduct, in* 
deed, has been fo utterly void of co tin fel, that! feem 
to have no right to tax thofe perfons with being fuper- 


fiitious, who afcribe it to a preternatural infatuation. 
By a flngular fatality of error, they are chargeable 
with having done both too much and too little ; too 
much in the way of hoftility for reconciliation, and 
too little for compulfion. That they wifh for a re- 
conciliation, we cannot but believe : yet, every ftep 
they have taken, iince the difpute began, has, through 
their folly, or our perverfenefs, or both, tended only 
to widen the breach ; tended to make new enemies, 
and lofe old friends. But, in their error, they have 
only been weak ; whilfl it is our greater reproach to 
have been both weak and wicked. Error in them is 
no excufe for guilt in us : but having, in no flight 
degree, their error, as well as our own guilt, to anfwer 
for, our reflections muft needs be formed of every 
thing that can aggravate diftrefs, with very little to 
relieve it. 

The Mother Country is, for aught I know, charge- 
able with a thoufand errors in her management of the 
Colonies : this only cannot be laid to her charge, that 
fhe has ever governed them with rigour, or oppreflTcd 
them. And yet it is folely on a charge of injufticc, 
and rigour and oppreffion, that our herdimen have 
ftirred up this/r/jfe. ^ 

As to the oftenfible point in debate, the right of 
taxation, it has been fully and well argued on both 
fides ; and it is not my intention to go over this 
beaten ground again . But, however popular our fide 
of the queftion may be, it has not appeared to me, 
that we have any thing elfe refpe6tin it in our favour. 
B b 2 That 


That the Parent State has been unwife,. I readily 
grant ; contending only, that fhe has never been un- 
juft : for, it has again and again been proved, that (he 
has been right in her intentions, and, I think, right 
alfo in her principle. But, if the right of taxation 
was ever more than an ofleniible and fpecious pre- 
tence for the quarrel, it has now ceafed to be fo-. 
On that point our herdfmen no longer infift ; they no 
longer hold out an hope of reconciliation : all our 
debates now turn entirely on the prudence and pro- 
priety, the neceffity and the wifdom, of feparatiryg. 
And yet there is no nation with whom we can be 
connected either fo naturally, or fo advan-tageouily, 
as with our Parent State *. It is as little the intereft 
as the duty of Great Britain to require of us- any thing 
ten reafbn able ; and we murl be no lefs wanting to 
xDiirfelves than to her, if we withhold from her anjr 
reafonable thing that fhe may fee fit to aik of us. 
We have long and often experienced her juft ice and 
her generality. If, therefore, through the degeneracy, 
or the imperfection, of all. political wiidona and prin- 

* Great Britain might, with particular pertinency, have faid to 
her Colonies : "' Vobis vero niilla opportunior amicitia noilra ; pri- 
" mum quod procul abfumus ; in <juo offenfce minimum, gratia par 
*' ac fi prope adeffemus." Sail. Bell. Jugurth. fub finem. 

" Simul et Afia id cogitet, nullam a fe neque belli externi neqiie 
*' difcordiarum domefticarum calarcitatem defuturam fuifTe, li hoe 
" imperio non teneretur. Id autem imperium cum retineri SINE 
** I'ECTiGALraus nullo modo poflit, csquo animo parte aliqua fuorum 
** fruftuiim pacem fibi ferr.piternam redimat atque otium." 
Cicero, lib. i. ep. ad Q._Fratrem. 

j L 



ciplcs, (he now feems to us no longer j aft or generous, 
Jet us, in common candour, hope and believe that 
fhe neither can nor will long perfift in a temper that 
mud be allowed to be unnatural to her. I do not 
love to dwell thus only on her miicarriages. Offences, 
no doubt, have been given : but, forgetting that we 
dfo have offended, and that in us it is lefs pardonable 
to offend, we are taught to exaggerate all the errors 
and the failings of our Parent State. 

Even I remember the time when an indignity 
offered to Great Britain would, in America, have been 
regarded as an affront offered to America. Ho\y 
often have we liflened, even till attention was wearied, 
to lavifh encomiums on ourfclvcs, by fome of ourfelves, 
on the fcore of our attachment to that country, which, 
till now, it was our pride habitually to call our HOME ! 
During the late war, at the peace, and even fince the 
peace, we were almoft officious in preferring loyal 
addreflcs * : and in them, if words have any meaning, 
all that fcemed greatly to trouble us was, that we 
were not likely to be fooh called on to facrifice our 
lives and fortunes in the fcrvicc of the Crown. Away 
with fuch loyalty, and fuch affection ! loyalty that 
is liberal of words only, and proffers it's ferviccs moft 
when they are leaft wanted ; and affeclion that can 
be attached and engaged only by being coaxed and 
eareffed. The moment that our Parent ceafes to 
fottcr and fondle us, or that we imagine fhe ceafes, 

* In like manner James the Second was almoft overpowered with 
joyal addreffes, juft before his abdication. 

B b 3 our 


our affections are withdrawn ; and, inftead of loving 
and reverencing the mother that bore us, we vilify 
and infult her. 

But, if love be a voluntary offering, gratitude is a 
debt : and furely it is not a little that the Parent State 
is entitled to claim from us on the fcore of pafl bene- 
fits. With the utmoii propriety might fhe addrefs 
us in the pathetic words of the Lord to the infant in 
the xxvith chapter of Ezekiel : 1 have caufed thee to 
multiply as the hid of the field, and thou haft increafed, 
and art waxen great ; and thou art come to excellent 
ornaments : thy breafts are fajhioned, and thine hair is 
grown ; whereas thou waft naked and I are. And what 
Socrates faid to his friends jufl before his death, might 
be no bad rule of conduct for us in this our clay of 
trial : " How unjuftly fo ever we are treated, it never 
" can be our intereft to praclife injuilice ; much lefs 
" to retort the injuries of our parents, or our country ; 
" and by our example teach difobedlence to. the Jaws" 

O that, whether from motives of prudence, interefr, 
gratitude, or duty, our ancient habits of amity might 
yet be renewed ! and that, to effect this blefled pur- 
pofe, fome wife and good men, uncontrouled by the 
interefted herclfmen, would arife ; and, in the ft'ill 
fmall voice of reaibn, gentle in it's manner, but power- 
ful in it's effect?, foot he and calm our ruffled minds ! 
If wife and good, it is of little moment whether they 
dwell on this, or on that, fide of the Atlantic. We 
thank God, that there are many fuch in Great Britain; 
many fuch alfo in America. In their eftimation, 



the caufe is equally their own : their interefts, and 
their views, are the fame. Such men can be oppofed 
by thofe only who oppofe every thing; and, more 
efpecially, every thing which promifes to reftore order 
and quietnefs to government. To render their op- 
petition, if it be poffible, ineffectual, permit me to 
recommend it to fuch men (copying the conduct of 
their opponents in this alone) to afibciate; : and whe- 
ther they live in the eaft or in the weft, taking it out 
of the hands of factious herdfmen, make a common 
caufe of our ft rife. 

Seeing, as- we do, brethren ftriving, let us, like the 
*neek fervant of God, interpofe and exert our beft 
endeavours \ofet them at one again ; faying, as furcly 
we well may, -Sirs, ye are brethren! *xhy do ye wrong 
one to another ? 

Thus, and thus only, may we hope, by the blefiing 
of God, to be made one nation in the. land upon the 
mountains of If r a el, and to have one king over us all$ 
and that ive foall he no more two nations, nor divided 
into two kingdoms any more at alL 

B b 4 D I S- 




a SAMUEL, ch. xviii. ver. 33. 

And the king was muck moved, and went up to tie 

clamber over tie gate> and weft : and as le went, 

ilus le faid> my fon Abfalom, my fon , my fon Ab- 

falom ! would God 1 lad died for tlee> Abfalom^ 

my fon > my fon ! 

ever any man knew the art of happily furmount-r 
ing trouble ; or, when that was impracticable, of 
bearing it with becoming fortitude ; it was David. It 
rnay feem extraordinary, then, that he, who through 
the whole courfe of an eventful life had been excr- 
cifed in trials of this nature, (houlcl burft into fo paA 
iionate an exclamation of grief as he here does, on an 
pccafion which, though calamitous, was yet accom- 
panied with many alleviating circumilances. Abfa- 

* Preached in Queen Anne's, in 1774* 



!0m, it is true, was his fon ; but he was not his only 
fon, and he was moreover fo fingularly ungracious 
and unclutiful that he might have weaned and alie- 
nated the fondeft affection : nor does David, though 
undoubtedly a kind and tender parent, in any other 
in (la nee appear to have been weakly or capricionfly 
indulgent. No man could poflibly make more juft 
and appofite reflections on the death of a beloved 
child than he had formerly done : and yet, in what- 
ever point of view the expreffions in the text are con- 
ftdered, his forrow feems to have been as unrcafon* 
able as it was immoderate. 

There muft have been fome adequate caufe for fo 
flriking an inconfiftency. To trace this caufe, and 
to illuftrate an interefting circumftance in facred hif- 
tory, are the objects of my prefent difcourfe. It is 
fuch a portion of hiftory as, if well attended to, may 
not only put parents and children, but governors and 
f ub j eels, on their guard in feveral eflential articles of 
duty ; in which, without great caution, both the one 
and the other are too apt frequently to fail, and, by 
failing, to be undone. 

The fecond commandment, not more rigoroufly 
than juftly, threatens to vifit tie fins of the fathers upon 
tie children. And an attentive obfcrver may fee a 
thoufand inftances in life, in which this threat is ac- 
tually inflicted on communities, as well as on indi- 
viduals ; and this not only morally and judicially, but 
jn the natural courfe of things. It happens alfo that 
the Denunciation is frequently reverfed, when the 



fins of the children are vifited upon the fathers. And, 
in truth, when a parent fees his children making them- 
fehes vile, and yet will not red rain them, 1 know 
not on what grounds he can expecl that they fhould 
not hereafter conjwne his eyes and grieve fas heart. 

It would feem to have been in this way that David 
erred. Abfalom was born, emphatically, a child of 
wrath ; for his mother, Maachah, the daughter of 
Talcnai king of Gefhur, was a captive, whom David 
had taken in his expedition to Ziglag : (he was confe- 
queatly an alien. It may, however, be prefumcd, that 
fhe was naturalized according to the Jewifti ritual, by 
undergoing the ceremony of having her head JJoaven, 
ier nfiils pared^ the raiment of her captivity pit from off 
ber \ and by remaining in his houfe, and bewailing 
her father and mother a full month. But there is too 
much reafoB to believe, that, with regard to the 
Jewifh worfhip, fhe was only an " occalional con- 
formift." This,, I fay, is to be feared, beeaufe it is a 
natural and by no means an unufual cafe : and if 
her converfion was thus imperfect, her fon (if he 
had the good fortune to efcape being mifled by a 
falfe religion) can hardly be fuppofed to have been 
fufficiently intruded in the true one. For this, 
much of the blame is to be laid at the door of David : 
and doubtlefs he was inexcufable ; iince, by thus 
neglecting to lay a proper foundation, on which in 
after life he might have raifed a fuperftruclure of 
virtue and happinefs, he was the true caufe of all his 
fon's future mifconducl. The fore punifliment which 



this afterwards drew down on his own head, (hould 
be a lading leflbn to parents, that whatfoever elfc 
they neglect, they do not neglect to bring up their 
children in /be nurture and admonition of the Lord. 

In point of natural advantages, Abfalom was with- 
out a rival ; for /;/ all If r a el there was none to be fo 
much praifed as Abfalom^ for his beauty : from the fole 
of his foot, even to the crown of his head, there was n* 
blemiflj in him. There is fome ground for fufpedting, 
that thefe external accomplishments made too great 
an impreffion upon the fond parent ; and that, fali?licl 
with them, he was at little pains to cultivate any 
other. The body, as well as the mind, is capable of 
improvement from culture ; and it is not the part of 
wiftlom wholly to neglect it : ftill, however, perfonal 
beauty is, and ought to be, of lefs moment than 
mental endowments. Happily both may be cul- 
tivated together ; and that they fhould be fo, is ad- 
vantageous, if not neceflary, to both. But it has too 
often been the reproach of mankind, that where 
Providence has done much for them, they are very 
apt to do little for themfclves. Thofe who are pof- 
fetfecl of many perfonal graces, are feldom fufficicntly 
folicitous about internal ornaments : great genius is 
rarely accompanied with intenfe application : fertile 
countries are ufually the lead cultivated; and the 
beft governments are frequently the word admi- 

David does not appear to have been an exception 
to the truth of thefe pbfervations. He was blcfied 



with a gift and heritage uncommonly fair and pro- 
railing. Gratitude to the gracious Giver fhould have 
rraade him more careful not to have fuffcred it, like 
the vineyard of the flothful man, to have been all 
grown over with thorns and nettles. Calamities which 
befal us in the daily courfe of Providence, and with- 
out any fault of our owft, are often, God knows,; 
fofficiently poignant: but when we fmart through 
our own mifconducl:, the anguifh of the blow is in- 
finitely moreexquifite. When David therefore found 
a fon, who, with proper care, might have been a corn- 
fort to him in thofe feafons of life when comfort is 
rnoft wanted, become pricks in bis eyes, and a thorn in 
&is fide ; and when he reflected on hirnfclf as the 
author of his own fufferings ; we are no longer fur- 
prifed to find his grief was immoderate in the ex* 
ii-eme *. 

If, in the prefent fallen and degenerate ftate of 
human nature, we can hardly, with all our ikill, rear 

* OTTOT'C Ti- ruy txrsoiQs-jruv si$ riTuiU^v ZKO^EVOJ, fw ytuoi %a^iv, p.'/,^* 

Tfw Tayma r.y,KUi; \iynv r, Si 

y, x.i.1 Kxy.oTfjiQiixv Tfs^i 
Polyb. lib. vu 4. p. 6^2, 
" When any of thefe, therefore, being arrived at perfedl age, 
*' injieail of yielding fuilalle returns of gratitude and ajfiftance to thofe 
** by whom they have been bred, on the contrary attempt to injure 
" them by words or aftions ; it is manifeft, that thofe who behold 
<( the wrong, after having alfo feen the fufferings and the anxious 
" care that were fuftained by the parents in the nourifhment and 
" education of thefe children, mitft be greatly offended, and unhappy 
* at fuch proceeding."^ - Hampton's Translation, vol. iii. p. 10. 



the fair plants of true religion and piety to any tole- 
rable perfection , what may we not cxpecl, if, inftcad 
of PauFs planting and A f olios' s watering thefe feeds of 
goodnefs, we fuffer tie boar out of the wood to root 
them out , and the wild beajh of the Jiekl to devour 
-them f Abfalom, as has already been hinted, was 

Jbapen in Jin, and in iniquity did bis mother conceive him* 
Inftead of correcting this original and native obliquity 
of mind and propeniity to evil, David fiifFered it to 
grow as he grew, until at length it became impo- 
iible to render that ftraight which had fo long been 
crooked. And if, from a youth thus trained up, he 
looked for any other returns than thole he met with-, 
he was wilfully blind and felf-deceived. And fo 

~will every other parent be, who, in a like cafe, cx- 
pccls the fruits of obedience from the children of 
difobedience. Admirable are the words of the wife 
Son of Sirach : A horfe, not broken , becometh head- 

Jirong ; and a child, left to himfelf, will be wilful. 
Cocker thy child, and he Jball make thee afraid ; play 
with him, and he Jball bring thee to beavincfs. Give 
him no liberty in his youth ; and wink not at his follies. 
J3ow down his neck while he is young, and beat him on- 
the fides while he is a child, left he wax flubborn and 
dif obedient, and fo bring f arrow to thine heart. 

And now having (hewn why David's grief on occa- 
fion of the death of Abfalom was more violent than it 
had been when the child which he had by the wife of 
Uriah died, or even when Amnbn was murdered ; 
and that this excefs of grief arofe from a confeiouf- 



nefs that he himfelf was ultimately the caufe of it 3 
we are naturally led to confider fome other circum- 
ftances in the hi (lory of Abialom ; and, in particular, 
the feveral fteps and flages of that moft unnatural 
defection, which, after deluging his country with 
blood, terminated in the untimely death of a rebel- 
lious fon. 

The firft very confpicuous aclion of his life, which 
vre read of, was the foul murder of his brother Amnon. 
He had indeed no flight provocation to plead in his 
excufe : but, uncommiilioned as he was to take the 
execution of juflice into his own hands, ib violent an 
invafion of the prerogative of his father fhews that he 
was not only of a vehement and impetuous fpirit, but 
ambitious and fond of power. I might perhaps be 
fufpecled of deducing an inference from this ftory 
which it's recital will hardly warrant, were I to flate, 
that even now he looked forward to the period in 
.which he hoped to be made judge in the land. But this 
much is certain, that Amnon alone then flood be- 
tween him and the kingdom : and that the people 
in general put this conftruclion upon it, may be in- 
iferred from the report which was immediately raifed, 
-that Abfalom bad Jlain all the kings Jons* and that 
there was not one of them left. If David's whole cha- 
racter was not compofed of inflances of great wicked- 
nefles, mixed with inflances of ftill greater virtues, 
we might be furprifed how fo wife a king could 
ppffibly overlook, as. he did, fo flagrant a violation of 
all order jand good government. We read only, that, 

- inftea4 


mftead of refenting and punifhing it, (which heought 
to have done both as a good father and a good king.) 
te and all his fervants wept very fore. They might 
indeed well be moved at fo fad a fymptom of deter- 
mined and daring undutifulnefs ; fince, if he waa 
capable of fuch an outrage againft all decency in 
early life, what might not be expected when fuck 
propenfities came to be confirmed by habit ? A true 
regard for Abfalom hirnfclf, as well as for all the other 
children of the king, fhould have urged them tfx 
have nipped, if poilible, this firil fhoot of difobe- 
dience in the bud. To fpare the guilty, is to punifh 
the innocent. Refpect to the welfare of his many 
faft friends, who muft neccfTarily be involved in the 
calamities that were fure to follow fuch ill-timed and 
exceffive indulgence, fhould have taught the too 
ealy monarch more prudence and more firmncfs. 
But it has too often been the fatal policy of other 
men in authority as well as of David, to love their 
enemies y and hate their friends : of which error the 
fmalleft part of the punifhment is, that, as Joab told 
David, tleyjbanie the faces of all their fervants. After 
fo indifputable a proof that foolifinefs was bound In 
the heart of Abfalom, David fhould with his wifer 
fon have known, that the rod of correction, feafon- 
ably and judicioufly applied, would have driven it far 
from him. He did know what the law had decreed 
againft a ftubborn and rebellious fon : yet he appears 
to have been as indifpofed to have recourfe to the 
law, as he was heedlefs of the dictates of reafon. 



It is faid, however, that, after this murder, AlfalorH 
fed: and .k may perhaps from hence be inferred, 
that David fo exceedingly refented his crime, that 
he patted feme very rigorous decrees againft him. 
But it is more probable that Abfalom only appre- 
hended fuch fleps would be taken, from a confciouf- 
nefs of the juft occasion which he had given for 
them. In the hiftory we find no account of any 
fuch proceedings : it mentions only Davifs mourn- 
ing for bis Jon every day ; adding, in a phrafe of much 
force, that bis foul longed fo go forth to Ahfalom. 
Thefe were cireumftances which as little {hewed a 
-vindiclivc fpirit in the king, as any juft grounds for 
the fears of Abfalom. If, as fs generally imagined-, 
the forty- fecond Pfalm was written on the occafion 
of this revolt, no farther proof can be wanting to 
fhew that David's grcatcft anxiety was for the pre- 
fervation of the national purity of worfhip at the 
temple in Jerufalem, from which (as appears from 
2 Sam. ch. xv. ver. 14, as well as from the 42d Pfalm) 
he was now cut off; and to which he longed to be 
reftorcd, even as the hart fantcth for the water- 
Irooh. So far from meditating fchemes of rcvenge y 
his foul was cajl down with the waves and billows of 
adverfity which furroundcd him ; and he * went 
.mourning hecavfe of the offrejfion of the enemy. 

JfftihTalmai) thefonofAmmihud, king of Gejbur, 
dhfalom tarried three years. \ feem not to myfelf 
to deduce more from the hiftory than it will warrant, 

* Pfal. xliii. ver. 2. 



ftippofe that under this Heathen prince, who was his 
grandfather, he learned (or, if he had already learned, 
that he was now confirmed in) fome Gentile notions 
and maxims ; which, however inconfiflent with the 
fyftem of his own country, were too fuitable to his 
future views for him not to cultivate : for, on his 
return to Jerufalem, (a meafure which was accom- 
plilhed not without fome difficulty,) the firft proof 
which he gave of his improvements was a fyftematic 
and well-concerted fcheme to overturn the eftablifhed 
government. This he hoped to effect' entirely by 
the means of an unhallowed principle, firft broached 
in the fchools of Gentilifm ; I mean that of a natural, 
inherent, and unalienable right in the people of any 
community to erect and to pull down a government 
v&Jballfeem right in their own eyes ; or, in their own 
phrafe, a right to make a king to judge them like tie 
nations. This, no doubt, was a doctrine very difli- 
milar to what he might and ought to have learned 
from that better code of laws received and reverenced 
at Jerufalem. But he faw that, owing to the weak- 
nefs and wickednefs of mankind, the flattering idea 
that all power flowed from the people would every- 
where find advocates, and everywhere be popular. 
Indeed, in his cafe, there feemed to be a neceflity that 
fuch opinions fliould prevail, before he could accom- 
plifh his views : what his fentiments on tbe fubject 
might have been, if he had fucceeded, is another en- 
quiry. It certainly is not likely, however, that, even 
if thefe levelling principles had raifed him to the 

C c throne, 


throne, he would afterwards have been fo zealous in 
defence of them : fuch doclrines appear to be as ill 
adapted to lupport a government, as they are well 
calculated to overturn one. 

To fo profligate a character forgivenefs for pad 
offences, and licence to difleminate his pernicious 
principles, were the beft earnefts of future fuccefs ; 
David not only pardoned him for his former crimes, 
but received him again into favour. Elated with his 
fuccefs in this his firft effay of difobedience, he now 
feriouily betook himfelf to profecute his long medi- 
tated revolt. His firil attempts, as it was natural, 
were covert and fecret, and accompanied with the 
moft unqualified and unbounded profeffions of an 
entire devotion to the king. Nay, when in the 
wild phrenfy of his ambition he even fet fire to a 
barley field belonging to Joab, he had the affurance 
and the art to alledge that it was from the regard he 
bore to the king, and from the ftrong defire he had 
to fee the king's face ; from a confidence, as he in- 
finuated, of his being able to prove, notwithstanding 
all that had pafled, that there was no iniquity in him. 

Ripening faft as the plot now was, it became time 
for David's hoary counfellor, Ahitophel, who no doubt 
had long fecretly fomented it, openly to avow himfelf. 
The character of this man is remarkable : the counfel 
of Ahitophel, which he counfelled in thofe days, was as 
if a man had inquired at the oracle of God ; fo was all 
the counfel of Ahitophel both with David and with Ab~ 
falom. Under his aulpices, thofe commotions which 



had hitherto affumed the gentler femblance of re- 
form, now appeared in their genuine character of 
revolt and rebellion. And in truth it required a 
head like his to devife the fingular ftratagem offend- 
ing fpies throughout all the tribes of Ifrael, with in- 
flrucT.ions, that as foon as they fhould hear the found 
of the trumpet, they Ihould fay, Abfalom reigmth in 
Hebron ! The policy of this meafure is obvious : and 
this is neither the firft nor the lait time that mankind 
have been hurried on to join in defperate enterprifes, 
by being artfully beguiled into the belief that they 
were already accomplillied. Thus, in Monmouth's 
rebellion in the laft century, (an event which was 
almoft an exac~l counterpart * to this of Abfalom,) 
foon after his landing, it was judged neceflary that 
he fhould be proclaimed king. And Richard duke 
of York, who took up arms againft king Henry the 
Sixth, gave out to the world, that he and his adhe- 
rents " defigned all honour and obedience unto the 
" king, and meant only to remove certain ill men 
" from about his perfon, who opprcfTed the people 

* Though, on his landing at Lime in Dorfetfhire, he had fcarcely 
a hundred followers ; yet, " fo captivating was his perfon" (fays 
Ralph) " to the people, and fo fpecioushis pretenfionb, that, the next 
il and the following days, fuch numbers crowded in to him, that his 
" commiflaries had full employment in taking down their names 
<f and fupplying them with arms." Monmouth's pretence alfo was 
to reprefs tyrannies and ufurpation. Of the multitudes that flocked 
to him, " the greateft part," as Hume remarks, " were the lowejl of 
*' the people ; and his declaration was chiefly calculated to fuit the 
** prejudices of the vulgar, or the rnofl bigoted of the Whig-party.*' 

C c a " and 


" and made a prey of the public." Hitherto a few 
namelefs malecontents only (fuch as are always to be 
found in all communities) had flocked to the ftand- 
ard of Abfalom : and even they had gone out in their 
fimplicity, and knew not any thing ; neither whom they 
were to oppofe, nor for what they were contending. 
But, owing to the device juft mentioned, he foon 
found means, like the unbelieving Jews of ThefTa- 
lonica, to attach to himfelf certain * lewd fellows of 
the bafer fort ; and gathered a company, andfet all the 
city in an uproar ; perverting the nation ; forbidding to 
give tribute to Ctefar, and faying that he himfelf was a 
king. And this is no uncommon ilratagem with the 
-pejlilent fellows and movers of f edition in the world, to 
report that to have already happened, which they 
only with may happen. It appears, at leaft in the 
prefent inflance, to have fucceeded with the tribes of 
Ifrael: for the eonf piracy now became flrong, and the 
people increafed continually for Abfalom -j-. 

When once a multitude is tumultuoufly collected, 
there is no faying to what a pitch of .mifchief they 
may eafily be led. It matters not that, as indi- 
viduals, they are mild, beneficent, and humane : I 

* ' omnium ffagitioforum atque facinoroforum circum- fe 
" tanquam ftipatorum, catervas habebat." Sail. Bsll. Catalin. 

f In a feceffion made by the people at Rome, and mentioned by 
Dionyf. Halicarnaff. lib. vii, p. 148 of Spelman's Tranfiation : 
" Thofe who were eafieft in their fortunes joined the Patricians, 
" whilft their fervants joined the Plebeians." 

I prefume,.this has always been, and always will be, the cafe ia 
all infurre&ions : it certainly was the cafe in the American revolt. 



would not truft the milkieft man upon earth, when 
he is one in a diforderly and riotous crowd. It mat- 
ters not that in our individual capacities we are wife, 
temperate, and jull : collected together in a mob, we 
inevitably become irrational, violent, and tyrannical. 
A large body of men drawn together may not un- 
aptly be compared to certain chemical preparations, 
which, in their feparate Hate, are perfectly innoxious ; 
but, by being united, are rendered inflammable, and 
even poifonous. Mankind have feldom been aflem- 
bled in great numbers for any ufeful purpofe : when- 
ever we fee a vaft multitude, we may well exclaim, with 
Jacob, my foul! come not thou into their fecret ; unto 
their affembly mine honour be not thou united. It is 
not improbable, that many of the people, whom Pilate 
called together to the trial of our Saviour, had, before 
that took place, fmcerely believed that a great Pro- 
phet lad arifen. But no fooner were they affembled 
in the practorium than all the people (in the fulled 
fcnfe of that emphatical phrafe) cried oift, Crucify him, 
crucify him.! 

Abfalom was now no longer a novice in the ma- 
nagement of popular meetings : we may fuppofe he 
kept the paffions of his followers conftantly heated 
by haranguing perpetually on the abufes of go- 
vernment, as faclious men always find it eafy to 
do : we may alfo fuppofe that he blackened, by 
every artifice in his power, the chara&er of his 
good father, the king ; fometimes, it may be, de- 
claiming on his adultery with Bathfheba, and the 

C c 3 murder 


murder of Uriah ; and fometimes on his pardoning 
Amnon for an incelluous rape : and while he thus 
dwelt with unnatural fatisfaclion on the dark lide of 
the picture, it is little likely that he fliould fee x or, if 
he did fee, that he fhould have the candour and the 
juftice to advert to) it's brighter parts. In vain had 
David hoped to atone for paft errors by future peni- 
tence and piety ; nor does it appear to have been re- 
garded, if it was even thought of by Abfalom and his 
adherents, that in the general tenour of his conduct 
he had (hewn himfelf a good king and a pious man< 
It was, no doubt, in the power of this ungracious fou 
to bring many juft charges againfl his father : but if, 
along with fuch as were juft, he forbore to alledge 
many that were imaginary, his conducl in this in- 
itance was by no means confident with the reft of 
his character, and very unlike the part which rebels 
ufually take upon fuch occafions. In this temper, 
and with thefe views, it is fcarcely poffible that he 
fhould omit to arraign his parent for a fuppofed pre- 
dileclion for Solomon ; who, becaufe he was a true 
Ifraelite by both lines of defcent, might therefore be 
fufpecled of being more in favour with the king, as 
well as with God : and becaufe he himfelf had 
hitherto been treated with an indulgence and kindnefs 
confeficdly beyond his defervings, he might perhaps 
be apprehenfive that he fhould hereafter be treated 
with a proportionable rigour and feverity. In the 
wide field of poffibility, it certainly was not irnpoflible 
that his father might abufe his power ; we may 



therefore fuppofe it to have been refolded, that he 
would fo abufe it : a pretence that may feem to juf- 
tify objections and refinance againft any authority in 
the world. 

That Abfalom, who, like the wicked as defcribed by 
the Pfalmift, was eftranged from the womb, and went 
aftray as foon as he was lorn -f , fhould wifh to excite 
a rebellion, unnatural as it was, might have been 
expected ; but that he fhould find fuch multitudes 
ready to abet and fupport him, is not fo eafily to be 
accounted for : multitudes, who not only were happy 
under the eftablifhed government, but who till then 
had thought themfelves fo; and whofe inlereft, as 
well as duty, it was, to preferve their allegiance un- 
Ihaken. It can be accounted for only by reflecting, 
that, in every country, the ignorant are more nume- 
rous than the wife : miftakes in judgment therefore, 
and great errors in conduct, are too naturally to be 
expecled from the many. This proves that the re- 
fohes, even of large majorities of the people, are al- 
ways to be received with great caution : it never can 
be on the determinations of a multitude ofjuch coun- 
fellors that the fafety of the State depends. Provi- 
dence, never intending (or at lead not approving) 
that ignorance fhould prcfcribe laws or didlate to 
knowledge, has in part provided againft this evil, by 
difpofing the uninformed to receive inftruction, and 
the more enlightened to impart it. While this na- 

* Pfal. Iviii. ver. 3. 

C c 4 tural 


tural fubordination fubfifts, and wifdom united to in-* 
tegrity prefides, a community pofFcfies all the ftrength 
and fecurity of which the regular courfe of things 
admits ; but vice, either in the governors or the go- 
verned, inverts this order. The rulers; inftead of 
dictating found knowledge, may deceive and iniflead ; 
or the people, inftead of liftening to wholfome advice, 
may defpife dominion: .and when, cither of thefe evils 
takes place, (that is, when either vice prefides, or ig- 
norance refufes to liften,) then the State has no choice 
but of ruin and defolation. 

The ends propofed by the various infurgents who 
now enlifted under Abfalom's banner were doubt- 
lefs, like thofe of all other infurgents^ as various as 
the various paflions, opinions, abilities, and interefts 
of the parties concerned. It is moil likely indeed 
that they all agreed in one pretence ; but very im- 
probable that they were all influenced by the fame 
motives. The bulk of every feet and party, into 
which mankind'are divided, are thofe who think only 
as they are bid to think, and net as they -are. acted 
upon : of courfe there mud always be a material 
difference in the motives of thofe who lead and thofe 
who follow. Both have fome fcheme in view ; fome 
end, which, though diffimilar, they purfue by means 
apparently ;t he fame. The defigns of thofe who fet 
and keep the machine in motion are in general 
fufficicntly obvious ; but not fo thofe of that larger 
portion of our kind,, whofe humbler lot it is to be 
directed by others. They are amufecl, bewildered, 
4 and 



nnd enflamed, by certain words and founds of almofl 
magical potency, to attempt the reformation of ibme 
imaginary abufcs, of which never having felt the 
grievance, it is hardly poffible they (hould have any 
diftinct conception of their nature. Jn Abfalom's 
time, the pretence was his fuppofed fuperior capacity 
for government ; in ours, it is an undcfinable fome- 
thing, which we call Liberty. And it ftili is the hard 
fate of unthinking multitudes to be driven on to vote 
it neceffary to fhake off a yoke, the weight of which 
they feel not, nor have ever felt, oppreflive ; and to 
change their old matters, without well confidering 
\vho are to be their new ones. For, it is very rare to 
find any people, collectively, confrderate and rational ; 
and ftill more rare to find them moderate : their ideas 
are vague and indeterminate, and their tempers un- 
avoidably heated and enflamed. Naturally prone tq 
change, the prevailing object of the many, in all public 
commotions, is only that the changes which they 
have meditated may take place, and that they may fuc- 
ceed in their projects of innovation. To this fmgle 
point all their efforts are directed ; and thus they are 
contented, for the prefent, to forge chains for them- 
felves, and to leave it to chance and future circum- 
' fiances to determine who fhall rivet them. 

Abfalom's conduct on this memorable occafion 
was no doubt as unnatural as that of his followers 
\vas abfurd. Still, however, it was not without a prc- 
cedent and a parallel. Men bent on exciting popu- 
lar difcontents have in. all ages and countries taken 



pretty nearly the fame Heps that Abfalom no\v 
adopted : and they have feldom failed to find num- 
bers equally ready, in their Jimplicity, to abet them. 
But it certainly is extraordinary that David, who, in 
the words of the woman of Tekoah, was as an angel of 
God to difcern good and bad, could fee fo dark a cloud 
gathering around him, and threatening to bnrft every 
inftant on his head, and yet take no effectual pre- 
cautions to guard againft it. When a mejfenger came 
to him, faying, tie hearts of the men of Ifrael are after 
Abfalom! inftead of trying to check in time fo alarm- 
ing an infurre&ion, by a vigorous exertion of thofe 
powers which the laws had vefted in him, and which 
the zeal of many of his faithful adherents would have 
put into his hands (for many did profefs their willing- 
nefs to do whatever the king Jhould appoint), all the 
concern lie expreffed was, that the young man Jbould 
be gently dealt with *. This " fweet grace of mercy," 
thus fniferably mifapplied, became almoft a vice ; 
for it would be difficult to mention an exertion of 
power, even the moil arbitrary, that could have been 
productive of more mifchicvous confequences. It is 
perhaps dill more difficult to account for the anfwer 
which the king foon after gave to Ittai the Gittite, 
This man was ajtranger and an exile, and of courfe 
under peculiar temptations to join in the revolt : yet 
fo far was he from forgetting his duty, that even 
when the king himfelf advifed him to abandon his 

* " Confultus fuper eo Tiberius afpernatus eft judicium ; aluitquc 
** dubitatione bellum." Tacit. Annal. lib. i}i. 41. 



forlorn caufe, and to return to I is place, he refolutdy 
anfwered : As the Lord li-veth, and as my lord the 
king livetb, fur eh in what place my lord the kin* 
flail be, whether in death or life, there will alfo thy 
fervant be. And he was as good as his word : for, 
when the king pafied over the brook Kedron, and all 
the country wept > this firm loyalift, with his cbofen 
band of faithful followers, alfo pafied over ; deter- 
mined to abide by the king, and Abiathar and Zadok, 
and the ark of the covenant of God. It appears from 
the eleventh Pfalm, that fome of the king's coun- 
fellors, either through fear or treachery, adyifed him 
to defert and leave to themfelves both Ittai and all 
his adherents, whofe ill-judged or interefted zeal, they 
faid, feemed likely to involve him in fiill greater 
difficulties. But was fuch a man to be given up, or 
doomed \ofee as a bird to the mountains? or (what was 
\vorfe) to be left in the power of thofe wicked men, 
whofe tender mercies are cruel f Let any, but fuch men 
ps are capable of giving fuch advice, anfwer the quef- 
tion. Matters were now fad approaching to a criiis. 
The rebellion was already at a very dangerous height ; 
and this, as far as we can judge, was owing not fo 
much to the good management of Abfalom and his 
party (whofe abilities, however, on fuch an occafion, 
we are far from questioning), as to the bad manage- 
ment of David. Thinking it impofiible, it would 
feem, that a fon could be a rebel, it was hard to pre- 
. vail on him to oppofe force to force. At length, 
however, he was perfuaded ; and the firft ftep he 



took was certainly proper and judicious ; I mean his 
having recourfe to fafting and prayer. This is al- 
ways right ; but it was particularly fo in the prefent 
juncture, as it might feem in fome fort to fandify 
the very prudent though fomewhat irregular expedi- 
ent he next fell upon, namely, the fending Hufhai 
the Archite, under falfe pretences, to infinuate him^ 
felf into Abfalom's confidence, that, thus being ad- 
mitted to his counfels, he might the more eafily defeat 
them *. 

The adclrefs of this t nifty fervant on this hazardous 
Adventure was admirable. On his firft approach IQ 
the ufurper, he hails him with the common falutation, 
God fave t~be king! Commentators have remarked 
that there is a very ingenious equivocation in this 
phrafe, as it is here ufcd. It certainly was intended 
to be undenlood as applied to the perfon to whom it 
was addrefTed : and yet, by a mental refervation, it 
might alfo be predicated of David, who alone, no 

* In Lord Bacon's Hiftory of Henry Tilth there is related an 
xpedient of accomplifhing a good end by bad means, not .unlike 
tliis mentioned in the text. When the Earl of Suffolk fled into 
Flanders to promote an infurreclion againft Henry the Seventh, he 
caufed Sir Robert Curfon, captain of the caftle at Hamme~, to fly 
from his charge, and to feign himfelf the Earl's fervant. Curfon 
did fo ; and having infinuated himfelf into the fccrets of the Earl, 
and become his confidant, communicated every tiling to Henry, 
Meanwhile Henry, to confirm the credit of Curfon, caufed to be 
publifhed at Paul's Crofs the Pope's bull of excommunication and 
curfe againft the Earl of Suffolk and Sir Robert Curfon : " where- 
" in, 1 * fays the noble relater, " it mull bd confefied that heaven was 
' made too much to bow to eaitk. and. religion to policy," 



doubt, was king. Be this as it may, it appears not at 
once effectually to have lulled afleep all the juft fuf- 
picions of Abfalom, whom we may fuppofe to have 
now become an adept in all the wiles of plots and 
confpiracies. Is this, fays he to the adroit courtier, 
is this thy kindnefs to thy friend? As though he had 
faid, if it be thus that thou ferveft my father, who has 
a better title to thy fervices than I can pretend to, 
what fecurity can I have that thou wilt be more 
faithful to me ? It was an home-queftion ^ but Ilujbai 
was prepared for it, and therefore readily anfwered, 
nay, but whom the Lord and this people Jhall choofe, bis 
'will I be. If the fufpicion of a quibble was before 
fairly fattened on this dextrous manager of a pious 
fraud, he will not eaiily efcape it in the inttance now 
before us. The Lord and the people had chofen, and 
could choofe, David only. Neverthelefs, framed and 
applied as the anfwer was, it might and it did convey 
to Abfalom the idea that Hujbal had alfo adopted 
the new-fangled notions concerning the power of the 

That the anfwer was ingenious and plaufible is 
admitted : yet, had it been critically examined, it is 
believed Abfalom might have found as much caufc 
of diffatisfa&ion as fatisfaclion in it ; for he could 
not pretend to a better right to the throne than 
David had. Admitting, then, that the fenfe of this 
anfwer was that which he put upon it, and that the 
general fuffrages of the people could abfolve an indi- 
vidual confcientious fubjecl from his allegiance ; that 



Hufhai was fo absolved, and all others who chofe it $ 
and that, in fhort, David was now depofed, and Abfa- 
lom made king in his (lead ; did it never occur to 
him to afk himfelf this plain queflion, what was to 
hinder a giddy populace, when the tide fliould turn, 
from again acling the fame part and clepofing him ? 
He appears not to have forcfcen, or at leaft not to 
have regarded, that, inftead of permanence and liabi- 
lity, the two main objects in all good governments, 
he was now laying a foundation, in the very principles 
on which his new empire was to be raifed, for per- 
petual convulfions and revolutions, than which his 
bitterer! enemies could not well have wifhed him a 
greater evil. 

God's 'ways are not as our ways. It is his peculiar 
privilege to bring good out of evil ; and, asfnow and 
vapour ^florin and wind, fulfil his word, fo doth he or- 
dain, that the moft untoward events in human life 
fhall, if he fee fit, work together for good. The rnid- 
vvives of Egypt, a harlot of Jericho, a lying pro- 
phet, a woman of Bahurim, or an artful courtier, 
were all but fo many inftruments in his hands to bring 
about good in the moral world ; jufl as thunder and 
lightning effect the fame falutary purpofcs in the 
natural. He wbo greet!} foliation unto kings, and 
foeweth mercy to bis anointed, loveth fome times, by 
means apparently the motf contemptible, to confound 
the wifdom of the wife, if Abfalom had not been in- 
fatuated, or (as I fhould rather have faid) if the Lord 
had not appointed to defeat the good counfel of Ahitophel^ 



to the Intent that he might bring evil upon Abfahm, he 
could never have thought the counfel of Hnjhal to be 
letter than the counfel of Ahitophel. 

That there was much good fenfe and found judg- 
ment in Hujbais advice, as well as infinite addrefs 
and delicacy in his mode of delivering it, is allowed. 
Attend for a moment to both. He differs from Ahi- 
tophel with diffidence, whilft yet, with apparent hefi- 
tation, he fuggefts fome very natural grounds of fear, 
which he knew would not fail to make their due im- 
preffion on the mind of Abfalom, notwithstanding all 
Ahitophel's endeavours to encourage and animate 
him. He is reminded not only of David's own well- 
known prowefs and fkill in war, but alib of the innate 
and diftinguifhed valour of his mighty men. This is 
backed by a very fignificant infinuation of another 
kind ; which however, for obvious reafons, is but juft 
hinted at. Thy followers, fays he, though now 
valiant as a lion, (thus artfully by a well turned com- 
pliment paving the way for the dimeartening furmifes 
which follow,) yet on the firft rebuff their hearts flail 
utterly melt. No rebel, he would fay, however natur- 
ally brave, and when engaged in a good caufe, can be 
fo undaunted as thole who are enlifted in the honour- 
able fervice of their king and country *. 

And now nothing remains but the laft decifive 


* " The king's name is a tower of ftrength, 
" Which they upon the adverfe fa&ion want." 

Shakefpeare, Rich. III. Aa v. Scene 3. 



blow, which is to determine the fate of the kingdom 
of Ifrael. The two armies meet ; and this battle of 
friends, countrymen, and brothers, was fought in tie 
ivood of Ephraim. Of Abfalom's party twenty thou- 
fand were flain, and their defeat \vas final. But, as 
it were to intimate that David's backwardnefs to 
chaftife this undutiful fon and his mifguided follow- 
ers continued to the Ia(l 5 it is added (and is certainly 
a fine ftroke of humanity) that the wood devoured 
more people that day than the fword devoured. 

The iifue of this defperate revolt^ with refpecl to 
Abfalom, was as extraordinary as all the reft of it had 
been. He rode upon a mule ; and the mule went under 
the thick loughs of a great oak, and his head caught 
hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the hea- 
ven and the earth, and the mule that was under hint 
went away. Thus fufpended, Joab took three darts 
m his handy and thruft them through the heart of 
Abfalom^ while he was alive in the midft of the 


* It has been remarked, that Providence infli&ed a kind of death 
on this traiterous young man, not very difiimilar to that, to which 
the laws of England fentence fuch malefactors. " The traitor mall 
" be drawn to the place of execution, as not being worthy any 
" more to tread the face of the earth, whereof he was made ; and 
" with his head declining downwards, and as near the ground as 
" may be, being thought unfit to take the benefit of the common 
" air. He (hall next be banged up by the neck between heaven and 
" earth, as deemed unworthy of both or either ; as likewife that 
" the eyes of men may behold and their hearts contemn him." 

" And 


" And fo perifh " (as the excellent Bifhop Hall 
concludes his Contemplations on the Hiftory) " all 
fi they who dare to lift up their hands againft the 
c< LORD'S Anointed ! but on himfelf let his crowu 
flourilh !" 

Dd DIS. 




2 SAMUEL, cb. xvii. ver. 23. 

Ahitophelfaw that his counfel was not fol- 
lowed, he f addled his afs, and arofe, and gat him home 
to his houfe, and put his houjhold in order, and hanged 
hinfelf, and died, and was buried in the fepulchre of 
his father. 

JL AM not without apprehenfions that I have hardly 
read my text without giving offence. The times in 
which we live are in many refpecls greatly altered ; 
even the duties of the pulpit are no longer what they 
were but a very few years ago. As though we became 
preachers that we might be inftrucied, rather than 
inftruct ; there are few of our hearers who do not 
conceive themfelves authorifed to inform us, both 
what we ought to preach, and what we ought not. 
If thofe perfons in this congregation, who are thus 
fuddenly become acute critics, had been as careful 
to be exact hearers, it would not have been neceflary 

* Preached in Q^een Anne's, in 1774. 
. - for 


for me now again thus publicly to charge with mif- 
reprefentation foine reports which have been induf- 
trioufly circulated rcfpecting my lafl Sermon. I be- 
lieve it was owing to the frequent occurrence of 
cafes of this kind, foon after the Reformation, that 
the Clergy of thofe times thought it prudent to de- 
liver written Sermons : a cuftom which is almoft 
peculiar to the Church of England. Portions, opi- 
nions, and doctrines, were then, as now, imputed to 
them ; which they were confcious they had never 
advanced. On the clearnefs and certainty of a 
written teilimony, as far at lead as the facl: of what 
was or was not advanced, there could be no difpute. 

I have, on many accounts, reafon to be thankful 
that this cuftom has never been difcontinucd in our 
Church. Several of the remarks and fcntimcnts, 
which I lately delivered to you in a Difcourfe upon 
the fame fubjecl: as the one which I have now pre- 
pared, have been fo exceedingly diftorted and inif- 
reprefented, yet ftill with fuch an ingenious attention 
to what undoubtedly was faid, that, but for my notes, 
I fhould have been at a lofs how to difavow them : 
and yet not to have difavowed them, would have 
been to fubmit to imputations of fuch folly and dif- 
ingenuoufnefs as I would not impute even to my 

It is by no means a circumftance that gives me 
pleafure, to find myfelf obliged fo frequently to fpeak 
to you of myfelf. But whenever I have thus yielded 
to ncceffity, I flatter myfelf that the motive has ap- 

D d 2 peared 


peafed to you not lefs urgent than obvious. Egotifrri 
does not confift merely in the ufe of the monofyl- 
lable " I :" it may be difficult, but it is not impof- 
iible, for a man to fpeak of himfelf (as of any other 
perfbn or thing) without either vanity or odentation : 
we deierve ceniure only when we bring ourfelves for- 
ward unneceilarily, or improperly. The character 
of a miniderof the word of God is not a mere per- 
ibnal concern : he owes it to the flock over whom 
he is appointed, to preferve, not only himfelf, but his 
character alfb, unfpotted from the world: to repel a 
perfonal dander is in him more than a common duty ; 
becaufe the refutation is neceflary, not only to his 
own welfare, but to the fuccefs of his miniftry. 

Suffer me, then, after this fair appeal to yourfelves 
that I have been much wronged by fome very con- 
fident reports refpecling my -lad Difcourfe, (which 
alfo I can farther prove by a reference to the manu- 
fcript dill in my pofleffion) differ me, I fay, to go on, 
and both now and hereafter, undifmayed by cenfurers, 
(whofe threats are, I hope, as impotent as they them- 
felves are unjud,) to deliver to you fuch doclrines 
and exhortations as the exigencies of the times and 
your particular circumftances may feem to require. 

Ahitophel, the fubject of my text, acled a buiy and 
important part in Ab&lom's revolt : and if there was 
a propriety, as I muft dill be permitted to think there 
was, in holding up Abfalom as a mirror to thofe of 
us, who (like him) may be in danger of being led into 
rebellion, while we fuppofe we are engaged only in 

a vir- 


a virtuous oppoiition, it cannot be irpproper to inquire 
fomewhat more particularly who Ahitophel was, and 
what he did ; that our Leaders alfo may fee what 
they have to expect if they, like him, proceed to 
drive matters to extremities. 

Of Ahitophers parentage we have no account. It 
would feem, however, that he was not of the loiveft of 
the people ; becaufe the firft mention made of him is, 
that he was the king's counfdlor : and in the 55th 
Pfalm (which is generally fuppofed to have been 
written on occalion of the defection of Ahitophel) 
David calls him his companion, his guide, and his 
familiar friend. The king probably thought, that, by 
fuch endearing favours, he had laid him under par- 
ticular obligations to be loyal at lead, and faithful, 
even though he had failed in engaging his gratitude 
and affection : but, when he indulged fuch hopes, it 
feems not to have been attended to, as it ought, that 
Ahitophel was a confummate politician. As fuch it 
was natural, perhaps, that his attachment to his king 
fhould be founded only on his intereft ; and when 
occafions arofe to make it his intereft to form other 
attachments, there were no counter-motives to re- 
ftrain him. He was a true Gilonite : he had feen 
various revolutions in the State : he had feen the go- 
vernment defcend from Saul to IJhboJheth, and from 
IJhboJheth to David: and in every revolution no doubt 
fo politic a man would choofe his fide, not as duty 
but as intereft prompted him. His experience in 
State-craft was anfwerable to his native fubtlety : for, 

P d 3 perfectly 


perfectly acquainted as he \vas with the intrigue?, 
the cabals, and the factions, not only of Ifrael, but of 
the neighbouring countries, he ibon engaged in his 
confederation Gebal, and Amman, and Amalek, the 
Pbfliftines, and them that dwell at Tyre ; attaching 
and uniting to him thofe who till then had never 
agreed with one another. 

What the motives were, which firft tempted Ahi- 
tophel to this foul defection, we are not directly told : 
but they may perhaps be collected from the hiftory. 
Bathfheba was his grand-daughter ; being the daugh- 
ter of his fon Elias. It is then by no means a far- 
Wretched conjecture, to fuppofe that he refented the 
great wrong done to fo near a relation by David, 
which he waited but for a convenient opportunity to 
revenge. Few paffions take a ftronger hold on the 
human mind than a concealed purpofe of revenge. 
This, like a fmothered fire, burfts out at length with 
a fiercer flame for having been awhile fuppreifed. 

Of this refentful and vindictive temper Ahitophel 
appears to have been ; and, unfortunately for his 
country, he had abilities to accomplifh any projects 
of mifchief, which the malice of his heart prompted 
him to meditate. In this inftance, however, the 
extreme intemperance of his paffions appears to have 
weakened his judgment : for, with all his abilities, he 
certainly was blind to his own intereft. Independent 
of the compunctions of confcience, it would have 
been prudent in him not to have fwerved from his 
allegiance. A revolt, which was to be conducted by 

a man 


a man fo fickle and unfteady as Abfalom was, an 
againft fo wife and good a king as David, cpuld not 
but be extremely hazardous. It is true he knew thp 
young man to be brave and enterprising, and in- ' 
finitely beloved by the people ; who, no doubt, are 
always of the greateft weight in all violent revolu- 
tions. But then (which more than counterbalanced 
a few circumftances favourable to the revolt) there 
appeared to be every thing to fear from Abfalom's 
levity, infincerity, and extreme loofenefs of principle. 
Againft thefe difcouragements, however, it is not 
improbable, Ahitophel might fet the untoward cir- 
cumftances of the country, and the degenerate cha- 
racter of the people : for, from the eagernefs with 
which men flocked to the ftandard of rebellion, it is 
fair to infer, that the minds of the people were very 
generally unfettled and ill-difpofed towards the go- 
vernment. Ifrael might then be circumftanced as 
we now are, when an evil fpirit of difcontent, clamour, 
and refraclorinefs, feems to have gone forth among 
us ; difpofmg us to object to, and quarrel with, every 
thing that has been long eftablifhed. 

Nothing is more common than for a free people, 
in times of heat and violence, to gratify momentary 
paffions, by admitting into their theories of govern- 
ment fuch principles and precedents as may afterwards 
prove fatal to themfelves. Of this kind, in my efti- 
mation, are the prefent refohes of our committees, con- 
vention, and congreffes ; patted not only without the 
authority of any law, but in direft oppofition to the 
D d 4 known 


known and eftablifhed laws of the land. The in- 
jultice of fuch conducl is not more manifeft than it's 
bad policy and danger *. For, it is giving np all the 
comfort and fecurity of fixed law to the caprice and 
humour of multitudes and mobs : and it fhould 
weigh little with us that fuch irregularities are faid to 
be exercifed only againft the enemies of our country. 
This argument, if admitted, and carried on to it's 
full extent, would be utterly fubverfive of all govern- 
ment, and make every man his own judge and law- 
giver. For, how is it to be afcertained who thefe 
enemies of our country are ? If we a/e to account 
thofe to be fuch who are declared to be of that de- 
fcription by a committee or convention of to-day, 
how do we know but that thofe very perfons now 
called enemies may to-morrow be voted, or vote 
themfelves, a committee or convention ; and, in 
their turn, denounce their enemies as the enemies of 
their country ? Thus are we (under the prevalence 
of fuch principles) to be ruled, not by equal and equi- 
table laws, but by the capricious refblvesj and paffion- 
ate opinions, of a felf-created junto. Let no one 
therefore now fet an example, which may hereafter 

* " The Legiflature is the fupreme power of the commonwealth; 
" and no edi& of any body elfe, in what form foever conceived, or 
" by what power foever backed, can have the force and obligation 
" of a law, which has not it's fan&ion from the Legiflature which 
?' the Public has chofen and appointed ; and no obedience is due, but 

" ultimately to the fupreme authority, which is the Legiflature."- 




be cited and followed, to his own ruin ; when he 
himfelf may in vain invoke that juftice, /which at pre- 
fent he denies to others. The time may come, when 
thofe who now endeavour to check the progrefs of 
political opinion by pains and penalties, by fines and 
by imprifonment, may, if this ftate of anarchy (for I 
cannot call it eftablifhment) continues, thcmfelvcs be 
fined, profcribed, or even put to death. 

If, in (lead of fubmitting public queflions to the 
public decifions of a Constitutional Legiilaturc, we 
fuffer them to be determined by the private preju- 
dices of unauthorifed individuals combined in cabals, 
we mufl neceffarily unhinge the prefent regular 
ftate of things, and fubftitute a dominion of parties: 
and as long as particular refentmentg, and indi- 
vidual fchemes of revenge, or even the fuccefs of 
fome favourite individual project of reformation, (hall 
induce men to difregard the fettled Conflitution, fo 
longisjuft government fet at nought, and anarchy 
or tyranny introduced in if s ftead. The mofl facrcd 
rights, no longer fenced by the laws, become thefport 
of every viciffitudc or change in a party : there is no 
more any efiablifhed rule of conduct ; every thing is 
thrown into uncertainty, and fluctuates with the al- 
ternate prevalency of contending factions. 

As far as it is poffiblc to collect the real purpofe 
of thofe felf-dclegated perlbns, who have taken upon 
themfelves now to be our Leaders in politics, from 
their apparently difcordant practices, we are, for fear 
of furrendering our liberties to (what we call) the ar- 


bitrary pretenfions of a Britifli Parliament, now to 
entruft them to men, or bodies of men, invefted with 
no legal authority : men like ourfelves, who have no 
more right to make laws for us, than we have to 
make laws for them. It may, I believe, be laid down 
as a found maxim in politics, that it is better even to 
be oppreffed and injured by a lawful power, than to 
receive benefit and protection from ufurpers ; and he 
is no friend to the peace of mankind, who, to fuit a 
prefent purpofe, encourages a contrary opinion. I 
love not to fufpecl any men ; but I ilill lefs love to 
truft men, who have been firft known as public cha- 
racters and as patriots fince thefe commotions, with 
any fuch power as the Conftitution has not given 
them ; with any fuch power, I might have faid, as 
muft in the end do harm, though in our prefent 
emergency it is poflible that it may produce fome 
good*. To return from this cligreflion, which how- 

* I have fomewhere met with a fpeech, faid to have been fpoken 
in the lioufe of Commons concerning the other Houfe, March 
1659, which has fome ludicrous but ftrong remarks, not inappofite 
to our prefeut fubject. 

" And now, Mr. Speaker, have we not glorioufly vindicated the 
" Nation's liberty ? Have we not worthily employed our blood and 
" treafure, to abolifh that power that was fet over us by the law, 
" to have the fame impofed upon us without a law ? And after all 
* ? that found and no'ife we have made in the world, of the people's 
" legiilative power, and of the fupremacy and omnipotency of their 
" reprefentatives, we now fee there is no more power left them 
t( but what is put in the balance, and equalled by the power of a 
" few retainers of tyranny, who are fo far from being the people's 

" choice, 


ever Teemed fo naturally to arife from the fubjea 
that I do not hcfitate to confefs it \vas for the lake 
of digreffions of this fort that the fubjecl: was chofcn ; 
indeed the having an opportunity to introduce fuch 
remarks, and to make fuch applications, is the chief 
recommendation to me of thefe Scripture parallels. 

A fitter fubjecft than Abfalom, for a deep dcfign- 
ing man to work upon, could not well have been 
found. He was aclive and enterprizing, and pof- 
Tefled of many plaufihlc and popular talents. Un- 
mindful of the infinite obligations he lay under to an 
indulgent parent; unmindful of the Hill ftrongcr 
ties of duty, by which he was bound both as a fon 
and fubject ; unmindful of his good father's maxim, 
that no man could Jlretcl forth bis land againft tie 
Lord's anointed, and le guiltkfs ; he too eafily liftem-d 
to the fuggeftions of thofe who pointed out to him 
the flippery paths of popularity. Thus befet with 
fallacies, and borne down by importunities, and per- 
haps alib abfurdly afhamed to make life of his undcr- 
ftanding .when he was called upon to exert his cou- 
rage, he differed himfelf to be dictated to by thofc 
whom he vainly hoped to govern. Accordingly he 
inftantly and earneftly fet himfelf to Jleal away tic 
learts of tie men of Jjrael. The means he made ufc 

" choice, that the molt part of them are only known to the nation 

" by the mifchiefs and villanies they have committed in it." 

Printed in An Account of the Sufferings of William Houlbrook, 
" blackfmith, of Marlborough, in the rei> of King Charles the 
" Firft." 



of for this purpofe were no other than fuch as have 
ever lince been praclifed by every other man em- 
ployed in the fame fervice of laying crowns and 
fceptres in the duft. He inveighed bitterly againfl 
the eflablifhed Government ; and though he could 
not but know, as well as all Ifrael, that David executed 
judgment and jujliceto all his people, he yet infinuated, 
that judgment was turned into gall, and tie fruit of 
right eoufnefs into hemlock : and, as though it had not 
been enough to poifon the minds of the people with 
thefe general prejudices againfl his father's govern- 
ment, he afFecled to defcend to particulars *. Tak- 
ing advantage,, it may be, of fbme real or fuppofed 
grievances, with (as I can eafily fuppofe) the moft 
elaborate profeffions of his own difintereflednefs and 
entire devotion to the good of the people, he pre- 
tended that, when thofe grievances had been fairly 
itated, and repeatedly prefented, though ibelr mat- 
ters were right, yet no man was deputed of the king to 
hear them. 

That by fuch means he rendered (if indeed he did 
not find) the people very generally favourable to his 
purpofe of revolting, will be matter of furprife to 
no one who is well acquainted with human nature. 
Few things are eafier than to excite popular difcon- 
tents. " He that goeth about" (fays the judicious 

* " Some truth there was, but dafh'd and brew'd with lies 
" To pleafe the fools, and puzzle all the wife." 




Hooker) a to perfuade a multitude that they are not 
" fb well governed as they ought to be, fhall never 
" want favourable and attentive hearers, becaufe they 
cc know the manifold defects whereunto every kind 
" of regiment is fubject ; but the fecret lets and 
" difficulties, which in public proceedings are in- 
fe numerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily 
" the judgment to confider : and becaufe fuch as 
" openly reprove fuppofed diforders of State are taken 
" for principal friends to the common benefit of all, 
" and for men that carry fmgular freedom of mind. 
" Under this fair and plaufible colour, whatfoever they 
" utter pafleth for good and current : that which 
<c wanteth in the weight of their fpeech, is fupplied 
" by the aptnefs of men's minds to accept and believe 
" it. Whereas, on the other fide, if we maintain 
" things that are eftablifhed, we have not only to 
" ftrive with a number of heavy prejudices deeply 
" rooted in the hearts of men, who think that herein 
<c we ferve the time, and fpeak in favour of the pre- 
" fent State, becaufe thereby we either feek or hold 
" preferment ; but alfo to hear fuch exceptions as 
" minds fo averted beforehand ufually take againft that 
" which they are loth (hould be poured into them." 

Mankind ought to conlider how impoffible it is 
that they {hould ever be ealy and happy under any 
fyftem, if they have not ftrength of mind, candour, 
and Chriftian charity fufficient to forbear putting bad 
interpretations upon the acls of Government, even on 
fuch as may have an equivocal or fufpicious appear- 


ance. This very common propenfity, to think evil of 
dignities, has in it as little candour and charity as it 
has good fenfe and found policy : for, Charity thinketh 
no evil-, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the 
truth ; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth 
all things, endureth all things. And it is of moment 
to recollect, that this memorable recommendation of 
charity is by no means addreiled to mankind only in 
their private capacities : it is, in an efpecial manner, 
to be extended to the public ; becaufe there it is moll 
wanted ; becaufe perfons in public flations arc moll 
likely to be mifrcprefented ; and becaufe, alfo, mifre- 
prefentaiion is, in fuch a cafe, of the greateft con- 
fequence. Both as Men and as Chriftians, therefore, 
it is our duty to abflain from putting ill con tlrucl ions 
upon public meafures, of which it rarely happens that 
we are competent judges ; and alfo, as far as we are 
able, to prevent fuch perverfenefs in others. Even 
in the woril appearances, Charity will find fomething 
to incline her to hope and believe better than fome 
interpret, or than all perhaps may apprehend. For, 
reafon as well as religion, which alone is the legiti- 
mate parent of the enlarged charity I now recom- 
mend, fhould remind us, that, let things appear to be, 
or really be, ever fo bad, ftill God rules over all ; 
and we may well be contented that he fhould con- 
tinue to govern. This confkleration of the fupcr- 
intcndence of God may not only ftill all the fearful 
r.ifings in our own minds, but enable us alfo to put 
to filence all the refractory forebodings of others. 



To bring thefe confederations home to ourfelves, 
allowances fhould .be made for the difficulty of go- 
verning a people, even in the moft advantageous cir- 
cumftances, under fo free a Conftitution as ours. But 
when to thefe general difficulties are added thofe 
arifing from fo large a proportion of the community 
being placed far from the eye of Government, and 
under many peculiar temptations to objecl: to, to re- 
fift, and to refufe obedience to it's ordinances, we 
may well exclaim with the wife man, Wbo is able to go- 
vern this tly fo great a people? Laws and regulations 
adapted to the various interefts of fo extended and 
difperfed a community, muft unavoidably be fome- 
times unequal. What is neceflary and proper for 
the North or Eaft, may be unneceflary and improper 
for the South and the Weft. 

In the prefent circumftances of our Conftitution, 
it is, moreover, not fufficient that laws be really good 
and wholfome : they muft alfo be approved of, and 
pleafe thofe who are to be ruled by them *. Still, 


* On the fcheme of this barbarous philofophy, which is the 
offspring of cold hearts and muddy underftandings, and which is as 
void of folid wifdom as it is deftitute of all tafte and elegance, laws 
are to be fupported only by their own terrors, and by the coi 
which each individual may find in them from his own private 
fpeculations, or can fpare to them from his own private intertfl 
In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vill 
fee nothing but the gallows. Nothing is left which engages 
the affedions on the part of the commonwealth. 
principles of thi mechanic philofophy, our inflitutions can never 


however, laws mutt be made with a general as we!! 
as with a particular view, and with an eye to the 
common good : but it is fcarcely poffible that a law 
fhould, in all cafes, be beneficial for all, without bear- 
ing hard upon fome individuals. And who knows 
not, how few there are of fuch enlarged fentiments 
and compreheniive judgments^ as willingly and with- 
out a murmur to give up a private profit even for a 
public advantage ? Bcficles, in every fociety there 
always have been, and too probably there always will 
be, men of reftlefs and ambitious minds ; who are 
never long fatisfied with any fyftem of government, 
or with any administration ; becaufe it is hardly 
poffible for any government, or for any adminiftration, 
to diftinguifh with their favours every man who may 
conceive himfelf to be entitled to diftinction ; and 
becaufe alfo it is the interefl and the duty of all go- 
vernments, and of all adminiftrations, to prevent, if 
poffible, changes and revolutions ; the effecting of 

c< be embodied, if I may ufe the exprefiion, HI perfons ; fo as to 
* s create in us love, veneration, admiration, or attachment. But 
' that fort of reafon which bunimes the affections is incapable of 
* c filling their place. Thefe public affections, combined with 
* e manners, are required fometimes as fupplements, fometimes as 
" correctives, always as aids to law. The precept given by a wife 
" man, as well as a great critic, for the conftruction of po-ems, is 
" equally true as to States * Nonfath eft pukhra effe pocmata^ dulcia 
<f funto* There ought to be a fyftem of manners, in every nation, 
" which a well-formed mind would be difpofed to relifh. To make 
" us love our country, our country ought to be lovely." Mr. 
Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, p. 115. 



which is ufually the chief object which malecontents 
have in view. 

It is certain no fatisfaclory evidence has yet been 
produced, to prove that the injuries we have received 
from our Parent State are fo great as they are repre- 
fented to be ; much lefs that her intentions towards 
us are fo unfriendly and hoftile as her and our enemies 
wifh us to believe they are. Charges of fuch moment 
fhould neither be haflily aflerted, nor haftily credited. 
That fome of the meafures of the Britifh Parliament 
have been injudicious, and perhaps injurious, it's 
ilauncheft friends will not be fo hardy as to deny : but 
we have been taught to magnify their errors, and to 
exaggerate our wrongs ; and to feek redrefs, not 
as heretofore by petitioning and remonftrating, but 
by refitting and rebelling. No government on earth 
is infallible. Perfection is not in human nature ; 
and fhould no more be expected from aggregate 
bodies, than from individuals. When, therefore, it 
(hall appear that the Parliament hath cither miftaken, 
or oppofed the true interefts of the Colonifts, let it, 
I pray you, in common candour, be attributed to 
the common failings of our common nature. To 
infer, that, becaufethey have once done wrong, they 
will always do wrong, is to contradict the plained 
principles of reafoning, by which mankind are ufually 
guided in other inftances. This is not the firft time 
that the Colonifts have laboured under grievances. 
The Stamp Act was deemed as exceptionable as any 
of the Acts of which we now complain. It was com- 
E Q plained 


plained of, or (if you rather choofe the term) it wag 
oppofed, (not, I thank God ! with arms,) and it was 
repealed. The hiftory of the means, by which it's 
repeal was effected, is it ill frefli in our memories : 
and if it did honour, as no doubt it did, to the per- 
fons who then conducted our oppofition, it certainly 
reflects fome diihonour on the Ahitophels now among 
us, who have profited fo little by fo excellent an 

A conjecture has already been made, that the opi- 
nions of the people of Ifrael on the fubject of govern- 
ment were unfettled. Some credit had lately been 
given to revolutions. It was not long before, that 
Rechdb and Baanab, fons of Rimmon the Be-erothite, 
natural brothers, as well as brothers in iniquity) had 
beheaded I/hloJheth, Saul's fon, whom Aimer had made 
king over Ifrael. Crimes of fo deep a dye occur not 
but in periods when the minds of men are unufually 
corrupt : and it is a great aggravation of guilt that, 
when it is fuccefsful, it becomes not only a precedent, 
but an encouragement to it's being repeated. Alfa- 
lorn (no doubt) had fo watched the times as to kno\v 
how to improve this difpoiition of the people to his 
purpofes ; or, if he did not, the counfellor, whofe 
directions he followed as implicitly as if a man had 
enquired at the oracle of God, could be at no lois how 
to turn it to his advantage. Whether he owed it to 
his own talents only, or to the fuggeftions of Ahitophel, 
his fkill in the means of difleminating fedition appears 
to have been confiderable. He rofe up early, and 



eonftantly flood lejide tie way of the gate., by which 
the people palTed to the king for judgment. We will 
not then fo wrong his abilities as to fuppofe that he 
fufferedany of them to pafs him uninftrucled how to 
convey defiance and treafon even in a petition *. 
It is fair alfo to fnppofe that the young rebel, now 
well tutored himfelf, would not be idle in tutoring 
others in all thofe levelling principles fo necefiary to 
his caufe. There is a fafhion in political, as well as 
in other, opinions : and it is in times of popular com- 
motions, when revolutions are meditated, that the 
doctrines of natural rights and the natural equality of 
mankind are moft countenanced. Then, all the con- 
gregation are holy, every one of them : that is to fay, 
according to the revived doclrine of Korah, Dathan, 
and Abiram, the governed have the fame right to 
direct and command as thofe who govern ; and he 
who fhould then, though with the authority of an 
Apoftle, exhort men to befubjefl one to another, may 
expect to be fiercely told that he taketh too much upon 
him. In the quiet and fettled feafons of peace alone 
we may hope to perfuade mankind to liften rather to 
their rcafon than to their paflions. This, alas ! was 
not the temper of the people of Ifrael in the time of 
Abfalom : men's minds were inflamed, and therefore 
as eafy to be worked upon by popular declamations, 

* Poftulabant, non ut affequerentur, fed caufara feditloni. 
Et Flaccus, multa concedendo, nihil aliud effecerat quam ut acriua 

" expofcerent, quae fciebant negaturum." Tacit. Hift. lib. iv. 


Eea ** 


as they were indifpofed to liiten to the lefs captivating 
dictates of fober argument : and Abfalom was now 
become completely popular. It is fair to draw the 
conclufion from the general tenor of his practice. 
For, we read that, when any wan, with the honeil 
purpofe of fhewiiig him that refpect which inferiors 
always owe to their fuperiors, came nigh to him to Jo him 
obeifance, he put forth his hand, and took him and biffed 
* Vim. In this cafe, however, as well as in moft others 
of the kind, the oftenfible and the real motives were 
totally different : the pretence was, that he might do 
jujtice to the people ; but the true object is difcovered 
in his exclamation, Oh that I were made judge in the, 

And now, when the con/piracy was ftrong, and the 
people increafed continually for Abfalom, Ahitophel ths 
Gilonite, David's counfellor, judged it a fit juncture 
for him alfo openly to join in a revolt, which no 
doubt he had long fecretly fomented. We hear of 
no reluctance nor remorfe that he felt on this bafe 
defertion of his old and affectionate m'after. Indeed 
there is no reafon to believe that he felt any " com- 
* c punctious vifitings of nature fhake his fell purpofe." 
As his allegiance was not fecured by any obligations 
of religion or ties of confcience, it was natural for him 
to worfliip the rifing, rather than the fetting, fun. 
All that appears extraordinary and unaccountable in 
the conduct of fo politic a man is, that even his pru- 
dence feems to have failed him. He chofe the weaker 
fide ; and embarked in a defperate enterprife, in 



which, according to the ufual courfe of human events, 
it was fcarcely poffible that he (hould fnccecd. To 
overturn an eftablifhed government is always, even 
when moil eafily effected, an attempt of great mo- 
ment, requiring great exertions : whereas the beft 
refources of the infurgents in queftion feemed to be 
fome vague and romantic hopes of an improbable al- 
liance. And, refpecling fuch alliances, David might, 
with but too much propriety, have expoftulated with 
his traiterous eounfellor, in the words which Rabjbakeh 
addrefied to Hezekiah : What confidence is ills, 
wherein thou trufteft? Thou fay eft (but they are vain 
words) I have counfel and ftrength for the war : now 
on whom doft thou truft, that thou rebelleft agamft me ? 
Now, behold ! thou trufteft upon theftaffofthisbruifed 
reed, even upon Egypt ; on which if a man lean, if will 
go info his hand, and pierce it : fo is Pharaoh, king of 
Egypt, to all that tnift in him. 

Ahitophel either knew not, or did not confidcr, 
how much the Almighty is concerned to defeat un- 
juft and rebellious enterprifes. For, though the horfe 
be prepared for war, and the hTue of battles depend on 
the inftrumentality of fecond caufes, yet victory is of 
the Lord. Sometimes (afliiredly, for wife and gracious 
purpofes) he may permit iniquitous arms to profper 
and triumph over a virtuous caufe : but, in general, 
in wars, as well as in every other public intcrefi, 
righteoufnefs exalteth a nation, while fm is the reproach 
of any people. War is an appeal to God : thole, 
therefore, who engage in an unjuft war, appeal to God 


in an unjuft caufe : and hence it is natural and rational 
to expect that God fhould take part againft them, 
and award the victory to that party which has the 
moft jufHce on it's fide. 

God forbid, however, it fhould be here afferted, 
that, either in public or private life, thofe only profper 
who deferve fuccefs ; and thofe alone are unfortunate 
who deal 'very wickedly. Sometimes it may be for the 
general good of mankind, that even a righteous caufe 
fhould mifcarry ; while, to thofe embarked in it, a 
defeat may fometimes be more advantageous than a 
victory : or the caufe itfelf may be better promoted 
by the failure of immediate fuccefs ; which may be 
withheld, or poftponed, that hereafter it may be 
granted when the gift will be a greater bleffing : or, 
finally, a finful people may chance to have a good 
caufe, which God therefore may fee fit to abandon 
and fruftrate, rather than that it fhould be fupported 
by wicked men. But a war, entered into by rebellion, 
is an appeal to God in a caufe fo palpably unjuft, fo 
deftructive to human fociety, and fo derogatory to 
God's authority, that I can hardly think I go too far 
when I fay it is impoffible that it fhould finally 
profper. There have indeed been fuccefsful rebel- 
lions ; but, if you will confult hiitory, you will meet 
with inftances of twenty that have mifcarricd, for one 
that has fucceeded. Lawful government is the greatefl 
bleffing that mankind enjoy, and the very life and foul 
of fociety ; without which, men mud live together 
rather like wolves and tigers, than like rational crea- 


tares. To refift and to rebel againft a lawful govern^ 
rnent, is to oppofe the ordinance of God, and to injure 
or deftroy inftitutions moft efTential to human hap- 
pinefs. He, therefore, who ean hope that God, tufa 
is a God of order and not of confujton, will give his 
bleffing to fueh attempts, does neither more nor lefs 
than expect that he will act in contradiction to his 
nioft glorious attributes, and ceafe to be the friend 
and father of mankind. 

By fome fuch hope, however, we mud conceive 
Ahitofhel (if indeed he ever at all confidered his re- 
iiftance to his fovereign in a religious point of view) 
to have been actuated : and befides his thus forgetting 
the Lord of lofts, and King of kings, he fccms alfo, 
on this occafion, to have overlooked fomc very ob- 
vious maxims of human policy. We cannot but be 
aftonifhed that a perfon of his fagacity and pene- 
tration did not reflect, that though Abfalom might 
like the treafon, he could not but hate the traitor. 
Were it not that a double-minded man is wiftaWe. in all 
his ways, he muft neceflarily have been deterred by 
a conviction that Abfalom could not help conclud- 
ing (as in fact he afterwards did in the cafe of Hnjbai} 
that he, who had been once unfaithful and difloyal, 
was not very likely to be a true friend to any man, 
or to any caufe. But, eager as he now was in the 
profecution of his revenge, his moments of irrefolu- 
tion were not yet come. We find him therefore 
now working all manner of mifcbief (as an Apoftle 
fpeaks) w/Vi greedinefs ; and exerting fuch fkill to 

E e 4 


ruin both his country and himfelf, as, if directed to 
a better end, would, affuredly have rendered his 
country happy, becaufe at unity in iff elf ; and alfo 
lave promoted and brought him to honour. Unwife, 
however, as we mufl conclude our politician to have 
been in the plain paths of piety and fidelity, we muft 
not fo rate his underftanding when exercifed in the 
crooked ways of fe dition, privy conf piracy, and rebellion. 
The firft inflance of his advice, that is recorded, is no 
doubt fufficiently politic ; and not the lefs fo perhaps 
from this circumflance, that it is not very eafy, at the 
firft view, to explain it's end and aim. Go in, fays he 
to Abfalom,0 in to thy father s concubines*. The dif- 
tinguifhing feature in j4hitophel's character is wicked 
cunning ; that " left-handed kind of wifdom," as 
Lord Verulam calls it. Although therefore the mere 
depravity of his heart might, of itfelf, and without any 
farther object than it's own bafe and unnatural grati- 
fication, have prompted him to plunge a creature of 
his own into fo unnatural crime, he had too much 
fubtlety to make fuch an exertion without forne 
fcheme of profit or advantage. This firft meafure of 
his recommending was in reality a very deep flroke 

* " Igitur cunta tentanti promptiilimum vifum ad uxorem ejus 
" Liviam convertere." - Tacit. Annal. lib. iv. 3. 

A linking parallel might be drawn between j&l'ius Sejanus (of 
whom this was faid) and AhltopM. Similar parallels alfo occur in 
the hiftory of the Duke of Guifc, in the time of Hen. III. of France; 
in Jugurtha ; in Cromwell ; but moreobvioufly ftill, perhaps, in the 
Earl of Argyle, who iniligated the Duke of Monmouth to rebellion. 



of policy. He had not forfvvorn his liege fovcreign to 
take part with a hefitating, undetermined rebel. Ab- 
falom, it is true, hadfentjfies throughout all the tribes 
of Ifrael, and load gone out of Jemfahm with two bun- 
dred men that were called. He had alfo found fomc 
Levites who fet up their altars at Hebron, in oppo- 
lition to Jerufalem. The word Hebron literally figni- 
fies an ajfociation : when, or for what reafon it got this 
name, we have not been told ; but it's name, however 
obtained, certainly did not render it an improper 
place for thefe new reformers of Church and State to 
form their new aflbciations in. And here, at Hebron, 
we may fuppofe they eafily found favour with the 
people, by incefiantly infinuating to them, that David, 
like the kings of the Gentiles, had too long exerc'ifed do- 
minion over them: but that this fhould be the cafe no 
longer; the time being now come, when, if they 
were not wanting to themfelves, they might bind kings 
with chains, and nobles with fetters of iron. If, as we 
have conjectured, the people in general, and in par- 
ticular the afibciators at Hebron, were deeply tinctured 
with the principles which lead to rebellion, it is natural 
to conclude that thefe doctrines, like thofe of the 
Pharifees, could hardly fail to make them twofold 
more the children of hell. All thefe circumftanccs 
were in AbitofleTs favour. Yet ftill he mud have 
had fomc mifgivings in his mind : he could not but 
have had his fears, that a riling fo fudden and un- 
natural, and fuch an one too as was not more con- 
trary to the general duty than adverfe to the general 



interefl, was not very likely to be lafting. Though 
a traitor, Abfalom was yet a fon ; as David, though 
provoked, was alfo flill a father. A few of the people 
had indeed gone cut, and with hoftile appearances ; 
but it was in their fimplicity , and without knowing any 
thing of the reafons for which they had taken up arms. 
It was to be apprehended, therefore, that they might 
return to a better mind. This it much concerned 
Ahito$hel to prevent, A politician, whofe fuccefs de- 
pends on popular opinion, mufl, at all events, keep 
up that opinion. Hitherto the breach was fmall, and 
might foon have been clofed : Ahitophel now rendered 
it irreparable. This he effeclecl by involving Abfa- 
Jom in fuch a notorious violation of duty, as fhewed 
to all Ifrael, that he now no longer either wifhed or 
hoped for a reconciliation. Set up^ fays he, a tent on 
ihe houfe-top, that all Ifrael may witnefs thy fm and thy 
father s Jhame* Be it for timorous Amnon to feck 
privacy and concealment ; let Reuben trefpafs with 
one of the concubines of his father ; go thou in unto ten 
of thy father s concubines , and this not fecretly, butfo 
that thou mayeft declare to all the world how totally 
thou art independent of any control of his : then 
JJjatt the hands of all that are with thee be ftrong ; 
that is, then fhall we all know what it is we have to 
ex peel, and whom we are to truft. Every thing in 
the hittory of a difobedient child gives pain to a bene- 
volent reader ; but this of Abfalom has peculiar ag- 
gravations. Thus it was not enough for him tofteal 
away the hearts of his father's fubjecls, but he muft 



add to it this public infult and difhonour ; and it is 
not improbable that he felt lefs remorfe in commit- 
ting this enormous outrage againft all decency, as 
well as duty, than he did at his firft timid and trem- 
bling eflays of difobedience. So progrefiive is vice; 
and fuch is it's power to harden the human heart. 

But it is by no means impoilible that, in fuch a 
Hate of the public mind, even fuch an act might be 
deemed meritorious. We may now fuppofe Abfalom 
as much in favour with the people as he had formerly 
been with his father, and that his fame was echoed 
from Dan to Beerjbeba. Like Simon Magus, he fecms 
to have bewitched tie people with his forceries ; and 
doubtlefs they conducled thcmfelvcs jnfl as they 
afterwards did when Sbeba Mew the trumpet : the 
whole multitude exclaimed, We lave no fart in 
David ; every man to bis tent, O Ifrael! And now, a 
revolt, which erewhile appeared but as a cloud no 
Ugger than a mans band, was ready to deluge the 
earth with the temped of a civil war. 

Unhappy, ill-judging Ifraelites ! who could fo 
foon and fo ungratefully forget him, your champion, 
and your guardian ; who, in the plains of Sbocbob in 
Epbefdammim, had fo miraculoufly rcfcued you from 
Goliath of Gall, and from the armies of the Phili- 
ftines ; and of whom the common obfcrvation not 
long before had been, that whatfoever tbe king did 
f leafed all tbe people. If any thing could have aggra- 
vated fuch folly and fuch guilt, it was the having 
chofen thehappieil period in all your hiftory for your 

revolt i 


revolt ; as if the fun could be eclipfed only when it 
iliines with uncommon brightncfs. 

We now draw towards a conclufion of this hiftory 
of Ahitophel. David, apprchenfive of no danger, 
(and who could have forefeen that a fon who came 
forth of his own bowels fhould feek his life ?) was of 
courfe unprepared for the conteft. And though 
both he and Us men were mighty, and, when chafed in 
their minds, intrepid as a hear robbed of her whelps ; yet, 
on this fo unnatural and unprecedented an attack, all 
their wonted fpirit feemed to have forfaken them, 
and they were weary and weak-handed. Tempted by 
fo flattering an appearance of advantage, Ahitophel 
now propofed to iirike a decifive blow Let me, fays 
he, choofe out twelve thoufand men, and I will a rife and 
furfue after David this night ; and I will come upon 
Inni when he is weary and weak-banded. This advice 
was clearly ungenerous perhaps it was even coward- 
ly ; but it was politic, and well adapted to attain the 
end propofed. When a meafure has this recommenda- 
tion, ftatefmen and warriors are faid generally to ap- 
prove of it *. By a feries of very providential dif- 
penfations, however, the traitor's counfel was not fol- 
lowed: and this happened becaufe the Lord had ap- 
pointed to defeat the good counfel of Ahitophel. This 
was an event which, with all his fagacity, fce feems 
never to have fufpecled. And thus it often happens 
with men of great worldly forecaft and contrivance : 
they fail in the very inftances in which they appear 

* Dolus an virtus quis in hofte requirat ? Virgil. 



to themfelves to have taken the grcateft precaution ; 
as if Providence was pleafed tp attack and defeat 
them there chiefly where their great Jlrength lieth. 
As far as mere policy could go, no man could plan 
better than Ahitophel did : but God was not in all Us 
thoughts, and God loves to difappoint the devices of 
the crafty. As much as human affairs may fcem to 
be left to time and chance, his Providence yet takes 
care that thole fhall not always be happy who deal 
very treacleroujly. This wa*s manifeftly the cafe in 
the inftance before us. The Almighty fo over-ruled 
all the events in which Ahitophel was concerned, 
that (as it afterwards happened to Haman) all his 
wicked devices, which he devfid again/I the Jews, re- 
turned upon his own head. 

Ahitophel feems to have had little or no fenfe of 
religion. We are told indeed of his having beenfent 
for from his own city, even from Giloh, while he offered 
facrificcs : but it is too probable he offered facrifces 
with the fame fpirit and for the fame purpofes only 
as his confederate Abfalom paid the vows which be 
had vowed unto the Lord in Hebron. Some counte- 
nance they might give to the conventicles at Hebron, 
but they certainly were not very cordial friends to 
the regular National Church : their chief aim, no 
doubt, was to have glory of men. And it is, alas ! no 
very uncommon thing to fee the fouled purpofes 
concealed under thefairefl pretences : under no maik 
does rebellion fo often gain admittance, as under that 
of religion. An appearance of religion Abitopld 



bad, and fo had Cromwell ' : but the laft act of the 
life of the former proves that he died as he had 
lived, a Jtr 'anger from the covenant of promife, having 
no hope, and without God in the world : he hanged him~ 
felfj and died. In fo doing he performed indeed an 
act of juftice upon himfelf, which elfe the laws of his 
country might have allotted him ; but, by thus rufh- 
ing into eternity, to be tormented before his time, he 
fhewed but too plainly that he knew not how fearful 
a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. 
If he had furvived the fuppreffion of this rebellion, 
he muft have lived indeed in fhame ; and, unlefs his 
mind was perfectly callous, with infinite felf-reproach : 
but then he might perhaps, in fome fort, have atoned 
for his crimes ; and fo have died, if not full of hope, 
yet without defpair. 

I remember but one other inftance, in all the Scrip- 
tures, of a defperate (inner who hanged himfelf \ and 
that was Judas, the antitype of Ahitophel. And, 
under the law, he that was hanged was accurfed of 
God. So that, if it were either rational or religious to 
judge of the malignity of thefe men's crimes by the 
fearful nature of their deaths, the guilt of exciting a 
rebellion would (land upon a footing with that of 
betraying the Lord of life himfelf. 

And now having feen the end of this rebellion, 
both as it affected the Leaders and thofe who were 
led, I would fain flatter myfelf that the prefent fo- 
nientors of infurrections among us will not difdain 
to attend, to the means which brought on a cata- 



ftrophe fo fatal both to Abfalom and Ahitophel. 
Come then, ye perturbed fpirits, who, like tie troubled 
Jea, can never reft ; ye, itobom no God can pleafe, no 
king can govern ; ye, who turn faith into faftion, and 
religion into rebellion ; come and fhew us, if ye can, 
in what your conduct: differs from that of the faith- 
lefs incendiary whofe hiftory we have juft been re- 
viewing. If, as ye ftill fometimes pretend, your true 
aims ftop fhort of rebellion, what mean, I would afk, 
all thefe " difputings, excufings, cavillings upon 
" mandates and directions, if, like certain hollow 
" blafts of wind, and fecret fwellings of fcas before a 
" tempeft, they be not an eflay of difobedience, and 
cc a kind of fhaking off the yoke ; efpecially if, in 
C thefe difputings, they which are for government 
" fpeak fearfully and tenderly, and thofe that are 
" againft it audacioufly* ?" Whilft ye purfue the 
fame means, it is natural to expect that the fame end 
fhould follow. Or if God, in his mercy, fhould avert 
from us this foreft calamity that can befal a land, I 
mean a rebellion, and a civil war ; it will not be ealy 
to forget how much we owe to you for the pains 
which you have taken to bring them on. No longer 
then, we entreat you, infult us with fuch mockery of 
all that is dear and interefting to mankind, by affeA- 
ing to call yourfelves the friends of humanity, whilft 
ye thus drag helplefs infancy from the bofom of a 
fond parent, and expofe it to perifh by perhaps a flow 
and lingering death, but certainly to perifh : ilill lefs 
* Lord Bacon. 



can we allow you the great and glorious character of 
being the friends ofyour country. If ye are the friends 
of America, AbitopheL and Catiline^ and Cromwell, 
were alfo the friends of their refpeclive countries, and 
infinite wrong has hitherto been done to them by 
their hiftorians. 

But, though tie Heathen, the Ahitophels of our 
land, fhould continue to rage, and to imagine a vain 
thing, let me, my brethren, hope for better things 
from you 5 whofe eafier and fafer lot it is, and muft 
be, (till to be governed ; and who, in any poffible 
revolution, can but exchange matters. Whatever 
may be the iffue to our Leaders, of the defperate game 
now begun, to us it muft be adverfe ; we cannot but 
be lofers, without a poffibility of gaining any thing but 
dearly bought experience. It is therefore of infinite 
moment to us to weigh well the probable confequences 
of many ; to which, whether we will or no, 
we are to be made parties *. Obferve with what 
caution and addrefs the perfons, to whofe guidance 
we are now to be committed inftead of our conftitu- 
tional legiflators, endeavour to gain our confidence. 
We are not yet called upon to aid and abet them in 
a dire 61 attack upon the powers that be : they know 
that both our judgments and our confciences would 
revolt at the idea of fuch a refiftance ; but they alfo 

* " Omnes, qui magnarum rerum confilia fufcipiunt, aeftimare 
" debent, an id quod inchoatur, reipublicae utile, ipfis gloriofum, 
" aut promptum efFeclu, aut cert arduum non fit. Simul ipfe qui 
" fuadet confiderandus eft." Tacit, Hiftor. lib. ii, 76. 

3 know 


know, that when once we have been brought to do a 
little wrong, by fubmitting to an ufurped and unlaw- 
ful authority, we Ihall then feel lefs reluclance to 
commit a greater. When we have been perfuaded to 
draw the fword, we fhall want no perfuafion to throw 
away the fcabbard. Thus, when Jehu wrote letters to 
the men of Jezreel to fet tie beji and meeteji of their 
mafters fons on his fathers throne, they were exceed- 
ingly Afraid, and flirunk back from the mandate. 
But no fooner had they declared themfelves hisfer- 
vants^ and ready to do all that hejjjould lid them, than 
they became the willing and eager executioners of an 
infinitely greater crime : they took the king's fons, and 
Jlew feventy perfons, and put their heads in lajkets, and 
fent him them to Jezreel. 

Let no man therefore flatter himfelf, that thus far 
he may go wrong, and no farther. Unlefs you can 
refolve not to WALK in the counfel of the ungodly, let 
what befel Abfalom and his followers be a warning 
to you how natural the progrefsis from WALKING to 
STANDING in the way of finners, and in due time to 
SITTING DOWN in the feat of the fcornful. 

In fuch circumftances your fafety lies in your re- 
treat, and in having no fellowfjjip with thofe who take 
counfel aganift the Lord and againft his anointed. 
Liftcn not to their much fairfpeech: like Ahitophel, 
of whom this was firft faid, their words are fmoother 
than oil y wkilft (without a metaphor) they have war 
in their hearts. Let, then, our Ahitophels and our 
AbfalomS; countenanced and fupported, like David 

Ff in 


in the cave of Adullam, by every one that is in d'iftrefs; 
and every one that is in debt, and every one that Is dij^ 
contented *, if God {hall fee fit to permit them^ con- 
tinue to itrain every nerve to engage you to join m 
the conspiracy : be it your wifdom, as it is your duty, 
to follow the example of the wife Ionian of Abel in 
Eeth-maachah ; and ftill be in! the number of thofe 
who are peaceable and faithful in Ifrael ; and ftil! 
keep the commandment of the king, and that in regard of 
the oath of God. 

* " Qwcunque impudicus, adulter, ganeo, manu, ventre, pen?, 
'* bona patria laeeraverat ; quicunque alienum aes grande confla- 
" verat, quo flagitium a.ut facinus redimeret ; prseterea, omnes undi- 
" que parricide, facrilegi, convicti judiciis, aut pro fa6lis judicium 
" timentes ; ad hoc, quos maims atque lingua perjuno et (anguine 
'* civili alebat ; poftrcmo, omnes quos flagitium, egeftas, confcius 
<f animus exagitabat ; hi Catilinre proxumi familiarefque erant. 
". Quod fi quis etiam a culpa vacuus in amicitiam ejus inciderat, 
" quotidiano ufu atque illecebris, facile par fimilifque cateris effi- 
" ciebatur." Sail. Bell. Cat. 

" Eodem anno Galliarum civitates, ob magnitudinem 

" reris alien!, rebellionem cceptavere ; cujus exftimulator acerrimus 
<4 inter Treveros, Julius Florus ; inter .^Eduos, Julius Sacrovir. No- 
" bilitas ambobus, et majorum bona facia, eoque Romana civitas 
*' olim data, cum id rarum nee nifi virtuti pretium efTet. li fecretis 
4< colloquiis, ferocifiimo quoque adfumpto, aut quibus ob egeftatem, 
" ac metum ex fiagitiis, maxuma peccandi neceflitudo, componunt, 
" Florus Belgas, Sacrovir propiores Gallos, concire. Igitur per 
4< concilialula, et catus, feditiofa difTerebant, ds continuations tribu- 
* l toriim, gravitate fenoris, fasvitia ac fuperbia pramdentium ; et dif- 
<f cordare militem, audito Germanici excidio ; egregium refumendx 
<c libertati tempus, Ti ipfi florentes, quam inops Italia, quam im- 
" bellis urbana plebes, nihil validum in exercitibus, nifi quod exter 
num, cogitarent. "Tacit. Annal. lib. iii, 40. 






THAT Congrefs, and the friends of Congrefs, 
fhould object to any difcourfe which did not en- 
tirely co-operate with their views, was no more than 
might have been expected. However weak the 
author of thefe fermons might be deemed in perfift- 
ing to write and preach as he did under fo many dif- 
couragements, he certainly never was weak enough 
to imagine that any thing which he could then either 
fay or do would efcape their cenfure. Hitherto, 
however, all that had been objected to him was 
general, and therefore much attended to by thofe 
only who were already of the party of the objectors. 
On the delivery of thefe two fermons, new ground 
was taken. The author was charged with making 
his pulpit the vehicle of private flander. It was al- 
leged that the character of Dr. Franklin was more 
than glanced at in the delineation here exhibited of 
that of Ahitophel. 

To thefe infinuations it feems fit that fome reply 
fliould now be made. When the fermon on Abfa- 
lom was written, the parallel immediately in view 
was, the great body of the -people of America, then 
acting juft fuch a part as, it appeared to the author, 
Abfalom and his followers had aded, The characters 

Ff 2 of 


of their demagogues, the leaders of the faction, 
feemcd to be no lefs exactly pourtrayed in that of 

That, in delineating thele characters, I had no par- 
ticular individuals in ray eye, I will not be fo dif- 
ingen nous as to pretend ; for, as all national character 
muft ultimately refolve itfelf into particular cha- 
racters, it appears fcarcely poflible to defcribe the 
one, without in fome degree adverting to the other. 
But I do confidently aflert, that neither Dr. Franklin 
alone, nor any one individual, fat for the picture : 
and I farther aftert, that the parallels were attempted, 
not becaufe fome particular traits in them were 
thought to refemble particular individuals, but be- 
caufe the whole very exactly fuited the general de- 
fcription of popular leaders and their adherents. 

Dr. Franklin was not then the only Abitofbel who 
" directed the florin," nor General Wafhington the 
only Abfalom. Beildes, when thefe fermons were 
written, neither the Statefman nor the General were 
fo well known as they now are. I am far from affect- 
ing to deny, that I think there is a finking refem- 
blance between Ahitophel and Franklin. For this, 
I hope, I am not to be blamed ; neither do I claim any 
merit in having brought this refemblance forward to 
public view ; becaufe the Doctor's character not 
having then fo manifefUy (hewn itfelf as it has 
iince done, all I can pretend to is, that the refem- 
blance was hit on by anticipation. The mere fuf- 
picion, however, of my having aimed at this gentle- 
3 man 


man in the parallel,, will be confidered by all impartial 
readers as no mean proof that the likenefs is more 
than imaginary. I am free to confefs *, I now fee it 
flrongly ; and therefore, though I publifh the fermon 
folely for the fake of the parallel which was original- 
ly intended, yet, in tranfcribing it for the prels, I 
have been at no pains to fupprefs any of thofe it's 
more prominent features, which, I fuppofe, firft ex- 
cited the fufpicion. 

Whenever an hiflorian (hall arife, poflefled of in- 
tegrity as well as capacity to write a proper hiftory 
of the American revolt, it will be no inconfidcrable 
part of his talk to afcertain the true character of 
Dr. Franklin. Like the event, in which he took fo 
large a fhare, he is fo very differently fpoken of by 
different parties is fo lavifhly praifed by fome, and 
fo feverely condemned by others that even if we 
could obtain an exact knowledge of all that he did or 
faid, it would not be eafy to decide on his character ; 
becaufe one of it's moft ftriking features was incon- 
fiftency : in his public character, his words and his 
actions were ever at variance with each other. I 
happen to have had many opportunities of hearing 
comments on his character, both from friends and 
foes ; I have read Dr. Smith's Rhapfody, which he 
calls An Euloglum on Dr. Franklin ; and alfo Mr. 
Wilmer's Memoirs ; and the impreflion they have 
made on my mind, differs but little from that which 

* This (now common) parliamentary phrafe is an American idiom. 

Ff 3 has 


has been often made on it by the contemplation of 
many other confpicuous public men, viz. that he 
probably was neither fo very great nor fo very bad a 
man as he has been defcribed to be ; and that I ftill 
am of opinion, that the parallel between Ahitophel 
and him is as exact and apt as any in Plutarch. 

Franklin's enemies, however bitter, have feldom 
been found fo wanting in truth and juflice as to 
deny him great merit in his philofophical character : 
it was in Philadelphia chiefly, if not folely, and by 
his friends, that he was charged with having ilolen 
from an Irifh gentleman, of the name of Kmmrjley, 
many of his ufeful difcoveries refpecting electricity. 
How truly he was, or was not, the difcoverer of the 
electrical nature of lightning, I cannot, amid fuch a 
variety of contradictory evidence, take upon me to de- 
termine : but common juftice requires that I fhould 
acknowledge, that, in his day, no man contributed 
more to excite and fofter a fpirit for inveftigation and 
experiment ; and that he firft effectually practifed, 
what Lord Verulam firfl conceived and recommended, 
viz. the ftripping philosophy of her uncouth fcholaftic 
garb, and rendering her the companion and friend of 
all orders of men. 

Tender and cautious as I am, and ought to be, of 
bringing a charge of plagiarifm againft a man who 
can no longer vindicate himfelf, I cannot help ob- 
ferving, that though I certainly have often heard the 
allegation urged againft Dr. Franklin in America, 
and though it was fet down as it now ftands in this 



place foon after my hearing it in Philadelphia, from a 
gentleman who was well acquainted with both the 
parties, it muft iirike every one as amounting almoft 
to a diredt refutation of the charge, that Kinncrflcy 
does not appear to have claimed any fhare in a dii- 
covery to which Dr. Franklin publicly avowed his 
own claim. But this fuccefsful plagiarilm, admitting 
it to have been one, is not the only inftance of it's 
kind imputed to the Doclor. The idea of calming 
troubled waters, by pouring oil upon them, he might 
have found in Plutarch*. It is alfo mentioned by 
Pliny f . But if, as I fufpedt, this idea alfo was fug- 
gefted to our philofopher by fome preceding writer, 
it is, I think, moil probable he had met with it in 
the following curious paflage in the third book of 
Bccje's Hiftory of the Church of England, 

* Tut 

iv TV) 
v, oy hot, -njvMiOTtjTa ray avs.uwv a 

wy u TO 
Ji; XxTotfwom i* (3'j6w ira^'x" titaerli^iiiw TW a^o* 

* Ad haec de reliquis humoribus maxime pellucidum eft oleum, 
quia plurimum in fe habet acris } cui rei certo id eft argumento 
kvitas ob quam omnibus innatat humoribus, ab acre furfum elatum. 
Quin et in fludus marines fi invergatur, tranquillitatem facit ; noa 
ventis ob laevitatem ejus inde delabentibus, (qupd Ariftotelcs pu- 
tavit,) fed quia fluftus quovis humore iftus fubfidat. Hoc olco 
peculiare eft, quod fplendorem et perfpicuitatem in fundo aqu* 
praeftat, acre humorem diflipante." - Vide Plut. Edit. Reifcc, 
torn. ix. p. 742. 

f Vide Flin. Nat. Hift lib. ii. c. 103. 

p f 4 ({ A cer- 


" A certain prieft, named Utta, a man of great 
ff gravity and fincerity, and one who for his qualities 
* ( and truth was well efteemed, was commiffioned to 
<e go into Kent for Eanflede, King Edwin s daughter, 
" who, after her father's death, had been fent thither 
" in order to her efpoufal with King Ojwin. He was 
" to travel by land to Kent, but to return by fea ; on 
ee which account he addrefled bifhop Aidan, befeech-* 
u ing him to put up fervent prayers to God to profper 
( * their voyage. The Bifhop gave them his bleffing ; 
" and having recommended them devoutly to the 
" protection of God, he alfo delivered to Utta fome 
" jars of hallowed oil, faying, I forefee that, whilft 
Cf you are at fea, a fudden tempeft will come upon 
* ( you : remember to caft into the troubled waters 
" the oil that I give you, and fpeedily the tempeft 
" fhall be affuaged, the fea be calmed, and you fhall 
! c have a pleafant pafTage. All thefe things were 
" fulfilled according to the prophecy. At the be- 
" ginning of the tempeft, when the waves and furges 
w chiefly raged, the failors endeavoured in vain to 
" caft anchor ; but the ftorm increafed, and the 
" waves multiplied fo faft, that the veflel was almoft 
cc filled with water, and nothing but immediate 
" death prefented itfelf. In this diftrefs the prieft 
had recourfe to the bifhop's directions, and took 
the pot of oil, fome of which he caft into the fea, 
and the fea was immediately calmed ; the fun foon 
after fhone forth, and the fhip proceeded with a 
?' profperous voyage. Thus the man of God, through 



** the Spirit of prophecy, predicted the tempeft ; and, 
" by the fame Holy Spirit, though he was himfelf ab- 
" fent, appeafed the fame." 

In a collection of Dr. Franklin's Mifcellaneous 
Pieces, publifhed in London in 1779, there is in p. 71, 
(what is there called) A Parable again/} Perfeculion, 
ilrongly recommended by Lord Kaimes *. It had be- 
fore been printed, again and again, in America ; and 
was frequently quoted by latitudinarians in religion, 
as a mafter-piece in it's way. Whatibcvcr be it's 
merit, or demerit, it is taken from a publication well 
known to Divines, intitled, " The Liberty of Fro- 
phefying" by Bifhop Jeremy Taylor; who fays he 

found it in the Jews' books f. 


* Sketches of the Hiftory of Man, vol. ii. p. 472, 473. 
f See Bifhop Taylor's Polemical Difcourfes, folio, p. 1078. 
That thefe furmi&s of Franklin's plagiarifm may not be con- 
fidered as quite vague and unfounded, I will fubjoin his Parable 
again/I Perfection ; which Lord Kaimes (whofe ideas of Chriftianity 
appear to have been at leaft as liberal as thofe of Dr. Franklin,) ax 
well as Dr. Franklin's unbiaffed editors, feem to have regarded as an 
original, contrafted with that of Bifhop Taylor's, from which I fuf- 
pedl it to have been borrowed. 

"A PARABLE againft PERSECUTION; in imitation of Scripture 

" language." (Vide Franklin's Mifcellaneous Pieces, p. 72.) 

" AND it came to pafs, after thefe things, that Abraham fat in 

the door of his tent, about the going down of the fun. And behold 

a man, bent with age, coming from the way of the wildernefs leaning 

on his ftaff ! And Abraham arofe and met him, and faid unto him : 

Turn in, I pray thee, and warn thy feet, and tarry all night ; and 

thou ftialt arife early in the morning, and go on thy way. And 

the man faid, Nay ; for I will abide under this tree. But Abraham 

" preffed 


Of the Doctor's political character, which alone 
we are now called upon to contemplate, it is ftiH 
more difficult,, as has already been acknowledged, to 
form an accurate eilimate. InconMency is fo ge- 
neral a trait in all human characters, that whenever 
I fee, as I often do, an hiftorian taking extraordinary 
pains to reconcile inconfiftencies, I cannot but fuf- 


" prefled him greatly : fo he turned, and they went into the tent 
*' and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat. Anct 
" when Abraham faw that the man blefled not God, he faid unto 
" him, wherefore doft thou not worihip the moft high God, creator 
" of heaven and earth ? And the man anfwered and faid, I do not 
" worfliip thy God, neither do I call upon his name ; for I hare 
* c made to myfelf a God, which abideth always in my houfe, and 
*' provideth me with all things. And Abraham's zeal was kindled 
*' againft the man ; and he arofe and fell upon him, and drove him 
" forth with blows into the wildernefs. And God called unto 
" Abraham, faying, Abraham, where is the flranger ? And Abraham 
'* anAyered and faid, Lord, he would not worfhip thee, neither 
*' would he call upon thy name ; therefore have I driven him out 
** from before my face into the wildernefs. And God faid, Have I 
borne with him thefe hundred and ninety and eight years, and 
*. nourimed him, and cloathed him, notwithftanding his rebellion 
" againft me ; and couldeft not thou, who art thyfelf a fmner, bear 
'* with him one night , ?}> 

This parable, Dr. Franklin's editor informs us, the Doctor fre- 
quently Impofed on his friends and acquaintance, (much to their 
predit in Scripture knowledge,) as a part of a chapter of Genefis. 
The Doctor's talents for impafition have never been queftioned. The 
reader has now an opportunity of judging, how far he was, or was 
not, a plagiarift. 

From Bi/Jjop Jeremy Taylor. 

* I end with a ftory, which I find in the Jews' books : " When 
1* Abraham fat at his tent door, according to his cuftom, waiting 

<f to 


peel the character to be artificial and fictitious. Dr. 
Franklin is not liable to this imputation : his incon* 
liflencies are every where obvious. 


* to entertain ilrangers, he efpicd an old man {looping and leaning 
*' on his ftaff, weary with age and travel, coming towards him, who 
" was an hundred years of age. He received him kindly, waflicd 
" his feet, provided fupper, caufed him to fit down : but, obferving 
* { that the old man eat, and prayed not, nor begged for a blefiing 
** on his meat, he afked him why he did not worfhip the God of 
" heaven ? The old man told him, that he worfhipped the Fire 
*' only, and acknowledged no other god. At which anfwer 
" Abraham grew fo zealoufly angry that he thrufl the old man 
" out of his tent, and expofed him to all the evils of the night, and 
ei an unguarded condition. When the old man was gone, God 
" called to Abraham, and afked him where the ilranger was ? He 
" replied, I thrufl him away, becaufe he did not worfhip thec. 
*' God anfwered him, I have fuffered him thefe hundred years, al- 
f * though he difhorjoured me : and couldefl not thou endure him 
" one night, and when he gave thee no trouble I" 

* Upon this/ faith the flory, < Abraham fetched him back again, 
* and gave him hofpitable entertainment, and wife inflrudlion : Go 
and do thou like wife, and thy charity fhall be rewarded by the 
< God of Abraham.' 

The dutbor's EPITAPH on hlirtfelf. 
[From die fame collection of Mifcellaneous Pieces, j>. 531.] 



(Like the cover of an old book, 

It's contents torn out, 
And ftript of it's lettering and gilding) 

Lies- here, food for worms. 

Yet the work itfelf fhall not be loft ; 

For it will (as he believ'd) appear once more 

In a new 

And more beautiful Edition, 
Corrected and Amende i 

The Authour, Com? 


It is remarkable, that the firft political exertions, 
(if we except his having written a political libel,) or, 
as he himfelf exprefles it, " Some pafquinades againft 
" the governorsf," in which he eminently diilinguifh- 
ed himfelf, were for the purpofe of converting a 
proprietary government into a royal one. That the 
people would have been benefited by adopting his 
plan may be granted : but it furely is extraordinary 
that he fhould afterwards preiide as a republican go- 
vernor, over that very province which he had proved, 
in the befl work he ever wrote j', could thrive and 

Compare this with the following Epitaph by a young Gentleman of 
Eton, and the Englifh tranflation annexed to it, in the Gentleman '.r 
Magazine for Feb. 1736: 

Vitae volumine pera&o, 


Perpoliti Sofiorum* principis : 

Q.ui, velut obftetrix mufarum, 

In lucem edidit 

Felices ingenii partus. 

Lugete, fcriptorum chorus, 

Et frangite calamos ; 

Ille vefter, margine erafus, deJetur f 

Sed hasc poftrema infcriptio 

Huic prlmee mortis paging 

Imprlmatur t 

Ne prelo fepulchri commifTus, 

Ipfe editor careat titulo ; 

Hie jacet bibliopola, 

Folio vitae delapfo, 

Expeftans Novam Editionem. 

et Emendatiorem. 

* Two brothers, celebrated bookfellers in Rome. See Hor. "Epift. xx, lib. i. 

) See his Life, vl. i. p. 49. 

Hiftorical Review of the Government, &c. of Pennfylvania." 
An anonymous work, generally attributed te Dr, Franklin. 



be happy only under the immediate protedlion of the 

In the affair of the Stamp Act, the duplicity of his 
character became ftill more manifeft. There is as 
good evidence as fuch a cafe well admits of, that the 
idea of railing a revenue in America, by means of a 
flamp duty, originated with him. He certainly fpoke 
of fuch an Act, as likely to take place, long before it 
actually did take place. With the promoters of the 
Stamp Act he had intereft enough to procure the no- 
mination of two of the ft amp- matters; notwithstanding 
that in America he oppofed the Act with all his might. 

Of any fettled plan to overturn the ellablifhed go- 
vernment, at the beginning of the conteft, the Doctor 
fhould be acquitted. That had, for years, been 
formed by a junto in the Northern Colonies, who did 
not at firft think him quite a proper man to be in- 
trufled with fo important a fecret. 

It was the fevere language of a well-known popular 
Lawyer, now at the head of the learned profeflion, 
during his examination before the Privy Council, 
which is believed, by thofe who beft knew him, to 
have determined the Doctor. He never forgave the 
indignity. Lord Loughborough was out of his reach ; 
but unfortunately the nation was not and on her 
he wreaked his vengeance. 

It is faid there are letters yet in being, as well as 
other documents, which, it is fuppofed, muft convince 
the moil partial of his admirers, of the extreme felfifh- 
iiefs of his politics, and the unappcafable rancour of 



his heart. But it is much to be regretted, for t 
fake of true hifiory, that thefe letters and documents, 
together with much other important and authentic 
information concerning him, are in fuch hands that 
there is little likelihood they ever can be made public* 

In this irritated and vindictive ftate of mind he left 
England, and returned to America. It was faid at 
the time, that the moment he fet his foot on fhore 
he drew his fword. This was done to fhew the peo- 
ple in what temper he returned to them. But, in 
their reception of him, there were no appearances of 
that ardour of affection which they afterwards fo 
officioufly difplayed. This coolnefs was attributed 
to their then fufpecling that he could be true to no 
caufe ; and that, therefore, if he then joined the ad- 
vocates for hoflilities, it would too probably be with a 
view of betraying them. He was much affected by 
thefe fufpicions ; and for fome time he hefitated to 
which party he (hould finally attach himfelf. For 
fun dry days this point was warmly debated between 
himfelf and two near and dear friends who are ilill 
Jiving, and who, it is hoped, will leave behind them, 
if it fhould Itill be thought right to forbear publifhing 
in their life-time, fome account of this and other in- 
terefting tran factions. 

Refentment prevailed : every other argument was 
parried ; but it was impoffible to eradicate from his 
mind his ftrong fenfe of the indignity done him in 
Mr. Wedderburne's pointed farcafms. It was fome 
time before he gained the entire confidence of his 

countrymen : 


countrymen : but at laft he became the chief fupport 
of their caufe. His partifans, who are not a few, will 
probably confider it as a compliment, that, to Dr. 
Franklin, more than to any other one man that can 
be named, do we owe the lofs of America. 

There was a littlenefs and a meannefs of mind in 
his paltry fneer, when, on the difmembennent of the 
empire, he obferved, that the world had now a prac- 
tical demonstration of the way by which a great empire 
might be reduced to a fmall one. He had formerly 
written a fmall treatife with that title. Of the fame 
caft was his making a point of figning the prelimi- 
naries of peace in the fame coat which he wore when 
he was affronted at the bar of the Privy Council. 

Dr. Smith, in his Eulogium, afferts, from his own 
knowledge, that Dr. Franklin believed in divine re- 
velation : but of the particulars of his faith he has 
not condefcended to give us any intimation. I no- 
where recollect any teftimonies in his own writings 
in favour of any particular religion ; and few, if any, 
much in favour of religion in general. All that Dr. 
Smith quotes, as to a belief of a future ftate, and of 
the illumination of his mind, might have been faid 
of Socrates : and at any rate, if, in what Dr. Franklin 
has written, nothing is faid againft Chriftianity, it 
fhould alfo be attended to, that nothing is advanced in 
it's behalf. I cannot find a fingle fentiment or ex- 
preffion in his works to contradict the opinion, very 
commonly entertained, of his having been a Deift. 
This the marquis de Chaftellux, or rather his tranf- 



later, exultingly informs us is the prevalent religion 
of the principal inhabitants of the Southern parts of 
America. In Europe it is called Philofophy ; and it 
was this latitudinarianifm in religion which (this 
writer adds with far too much truth) contributed in 
no fmall degree to the American Revolution. 

The admirers of Dr. Franklin, who find it neceflary 
to defend his character, (as the murderers of CharlesL 
are defended,) not fo much for his fake, as for the 
fake of the caufe which he fo effectually promoted, 
unable to deny that thefe plagiarifms are palpable, 
content themfelves with infilling on their infignifi- 
cance. I am far from wifhing to make more of them 
than what they are. Be it praife or difpraife to tread 
in a path already chalked out for him, it would be 
ftill more eafy to fhevv that even in his political 
character Franklin was not an original. He was 
the humble and even fervile imitator, not only of 
<4bitopbcl % but of Catiline and his confpirators. In 
his fuccefs alone, in dying in peace, and in being 
ranked among the benefactors of mankind, he is 
without a parallel. 

The following ingenious verfes, written by the 
Rev. Mr. Odell of New Jerfey, then a miffionary and 
a loyalift, but now employed in a refpetftable civil 
ftation in New Brunfwick, feem happily to defcribe 
both the merits and dements of Dr. Franklin's cha- 
racter, and therefore do him more than poetical 
juftice. They were infcribed on a chamber-flove, 



ivhich was made in the form of an urn, invented by 
the Doctor ; and fo contrived, that the flame, inftead 
tof afcending, defcended : 


LIKE a Newton, fublimely he foar'd 

To a fummit before unattain'd j 
New regions in fcience explor'dy 

And the palm of philofophy gain'd. 


WitK a fpark that he caught from the fkics, 

He difplay'd ar unparallel'd wonder ; 
And we faw with delight and furprife, 

That his tod could protect us from thunder* 

O had he been wife to purfue 

The track for his talents defign'd, 
What a tribute of praife had been due 

To the teacher and friend of mankind I 

But to covet political fame 

Was in him a degrading ambition ; 
A fpark which from Lucifer camei 

And kindled the blaze of {edition. 


Let candour, then, write on his URN, 

" Here lies the renowned inventor ; 
* Whofe flame to the fides ought to burn, 

*' But, inverted, defcends to the centre." 

G g D I S- 




JOSHUA, cri. xxik ver. 22. 

Lord God of gods irhe Lord God of gods Is 
knoweth, and Ifrael hejball know., if it ~be in rebellion, 
or if in tranfgrejjlcn- againft tha Lord (fave us nof 
Ms day.) 

UNSETTLEDNES& and unfteadine& of opinion- 
n points that are merely fpeculative, and fuch as, it is 
probable, may ever continue to admit of debate r ara 
not, perhaps, of much moment. But, in queitions 
which concern eflential intereiis, and in which, truth, 
if diligently and faithfully fought for, maybe found,, 
there even indeciiior: is dangerous, but error is guilt. 
On fuch topics it is, every man's duty carefully to 

* This DifcomTe is by way of Anfwcr to a Sermon, on the fame 
text and fubjed, by the Rev. Dr. Smith, preached and printed in 
Philadelphia, in 1775. 



fettle his faith ; and when it is fo fettled, it is equally 
his duty to hold it faft without wavering. Mod of 
all does it concern thofe, whofe office it is to inftruct 
others, to take good care that themfelves be well 
inftrttcted. The minifiers of religion fhould remem- 
ber, that it is as much their duty to enlighten men's 
understandings, as it is to improve their morals. Ye 
are the fait of the earth, faid Chrift to his Apoftles, 
to preferve mankind from the corruptions of vice and 
immorality : and ye are alfo the Ifebt of the world, to 
inform and edify the world. 

Among the fervants of religion, it might be hoped, 
none could be found who would oppofe the interefts 
of religion > nor, among the Sons of the Church, 
any one adverfe to the doctrines of the Church. But 
they are not all If r a el, who are of If r a el ; neither, be-* 
caufe they are the feed of Abraham, are they all children. 
There is a generation that curfeth their father, and 
doth not blefs their mother. Ye are clean, but not a/I, 
faid our bleffed Lord even of the Apoftles ; for, he 
knew who Jboidd betray him. A worldly temporifing 
fpirit is too apt to mingle itfelf in things, and with 
men, of all defcriptions and characters. This fpirit, 
as heretofore has been the cafe, is now again unhappily 
gone forth in great force among the people of the 
Colonies ; not fparing even the Sanctuary. For, 
among thofe who ferve at the altar, we find many 
who, calling themfelves the children of light, refolve, 
in their generation, to be wifer than the children of 
light. There are many, whofe fole aim is to recon- 

G g ar 


cile their religion with their worldly intereft, and to 
make the fervice of God compatible with the fervicd 
of Mammon. 

In times of fo inaufpicious a character, it mud be 
confefted, that the part to be taken by a plain clergy- 
man (whom the laity have been taught to fufpecl, 
and his brethren are almolt afraid to own,) is not a 
point of eafy determination. Confcious (as I am) 
that, with fo many and great advantages in our 
hands, it would be hard to fay where there could be 
any real ftrength againft us, if we were not ourfelves 
one againft another, and rendered our adverfaries 
ilrong by our weaknefs confcious that when the 
fhepherds of Ifrael are divided, and at variance one 
with another, the fheepalfomuft needs err andjtray 
and confcious alfo, that, unlefs it (hall pleafe God in 
his mercy to do more for us than we feem to be dif- 
pofed to do for ourfelves, we fhall continue to bite 
and devour on-e another till we be confumed, all I 
can refolve on for myfelf is, not farther to endanger 
the peace of the Church by any vain and unprofitable 
queftionS) and contentions y and Jirroin^s. But when I 
fee, as I now do, that, by holding my peace, and for- 
bearing to withftand, to ~his face a brother in error, as 
St. Paul withftood St. Peter at Antioch, the peace of 
the Church^ if it is preferred at all, muft be preferved 
at the expence of it's purity, I next refolve, after tie 
example of Join Bapiift, conflantly to fpeak tie truth, 
loldly to rebuke vice, and 'patiently to fuffer for tie 
trull's fake. I hope I am not f elf -willed : I hope I 



feel a becoming refpecl and deference for the opi- 
nions of men diftinguifhed by their genius, their 
learning, or their ftation : yet I am not infenfible of 
the indignity offered to literature, and the differvice 
done to religion, when acknowledged fcholars and 
dignified clergymen fo far forget themfelves as to 
become fophiits, and to turn afuh unto vain jangling. 
As a man, and as a friend, I may feel and allow that 
though a brother has indeed flipped in bis J r peecl ', yet 
it may not have been/row Vis heart ; but, as a Divine, 
I cannot help recollecting what one of the moft emi* 
nent of our order long ago declared, that " he who 
" teaches others to fin, is worfe than he who commits 
" the crime. He that writes treafon in a book, or 
" preaches fedition in a pulpit, and perfuadcs it to 
" the people, is the greateft traitor and incendiary*.'^ 
When a man of letters, heediefs of the true dignity 
of his character when a man of genius, ungrateful to 
Heaven for that precious boon when an amtaffaJor 
r>f Clnft> unmindful of the facred duties of his high 
calling, bafely proftitutes all thefe diftinguifhed privi- 
leges, by walking craftily, and becoming a mean 
time-ferver when men arifmg from our ownfelves 
fpeak ferverfe things, to draw away difiiples after 
them, it would be to partake of their Jin, if even one 
of the lowefl of the fervants of God did not, on fuch 
an occaiion, know that there is a time to fpeak, as 

* Bp. Taylor's Liberty of Prophefying, fed. xiii. Sec his 
Polemical Trafts, folio, p. 1025. 

G g 3 


well as a time to keep filence. " For a fheep to ftray, 
" it is no wonder ; but for a fhephercl not to wander 
cc himfelf only, but to lead away his flock from the 
" green paftures and comfortable waters of divine 
" truth, to the dry and barren deferts of human in- 
" ventions, cannot but be as fliameful as it is dan- 
"gerous*." If there be any " pulpit cafuiftryf," 
or any other cafuiftry, which can vindicate fuch a 
conduct, I am contented to be unacquainted with 

It cannot be neceflary now to inform you of the 
occafion which has fuggefted thefe reflections. My 
text is familiar to you : not that I fufpecl you to 
have read a fermon on this text, preached at Chefter, 
about the beginning of this century, by the truly 
learned and pious Mr. Henry ; but becaufe you 
have lately feen it placed (not, perhaps, without fome 
" cafuiflry") at the head of a fermon lately printed in, 
Philadelphia, which has been difperfed ampng you 
with no common induftry. The object of Mr. 
Henry's fermon was to fhew, that the feparation of 
the Prefbyterians in England from the National 
Eftablifhment was not fchiimatical, nor rebellious ; 
that of Dr. Smith is to vindicate the congrefles, con- 
ventions, infurre&ions, and military enrolments, 
which are now become general in this country ; and 
which, if (in contradiction to his furmifes) they ter- 
minate in rebellion, as many befides myfelf now think 

* Bp. Hall. 

t Dr. Smith, in his Sermon on this text. 



fhey unavoidably muft, will bring indelible difgrace, 
as well as irretrievable ruin, oil your country. 

When you are informed, that the author of trite 
fermon (on which I now propofe to make fome re* 
flnarks) has been my particular friend ; that it is not 
long fince I converfed with him on thcfc very fub- 
jecls, refpc^ing which he then profeifed to think as 
I thought, and as every true fon of the Church of 
En-gland rnuft always think., " becaufeit is importable 
" any one of our communion fhould be difloyal, 
" without firft renouncing his religion* :" and when 
alfo you farther learn, that I am now firft informed 
by the fermon it-felf (which, in a fingular ftylc of 
friend (hip, he has been pleafed to fend me as " a prc- 
66 fent from the author") of his having changed his 
'Opinions, whatever your judgment of the fermon may 
be, you will at lead allow that I have reaibn to be 
furprifed. Were it only from our avowed enemies 
that we received fach difcourtelics, we might better 
bear them ; but when they come from a companion, 
$ guide, // familiar friend, it is impoffible not to feel 
fuch a breach of friendfhip with aggravated poignancy. 

With but common juftice this text may, inftead of 
an encouragement to revolt, be made fubforvient to 
the better interefis of religion and loyalty. I doubt 
not, you forefee that it is my intention to make this 
ufe of it. God forbid that I fhould not ! God for- 
bid that, either for fitly lucres fake, or merely with 

* Abp. King's Letter to p. Sheridan, prefixed to that Bifhop's 
Sermon, zzd March 1684. 

G g 4 the 


the view ofpteafing men, I fhould ever handle the word 
of God deceitfully, and teach things which I ought not ! 
In me fiich prevarication would be as unwife as in 
any man it is unworthy : for, unapt as my preaching 
is to lead you captive with the enticing words of mans 
wifdom, I can hope to merit your attention only by 
holding f aft the faithful word which 1 have been taught, 
that 1 may l?e able, by found doclrine, both to exhort 
and convince the galnfayers. 1 find my commiffion, in 
terms no lefs appofite than they are flrong, in the 
fecond chapter of the Prophecy of Ezekiel. The 
agents of faction cry aloud and fpare not. Are the 
friends of order and good government the only per- 
fons whom lilence becomes ? Why fhould I be dif- 
couraged by the confcioufnefs of my own inferiority ? 
The caufe which I defend is the caufe of God : and 
if God be for me, it is of but little moment who may 
be againfl me. The blaft of a rams horn from the 
mouth of a prieft afferting the faith, was fufficient to 
level the walls of Jericho. And faith, if J have it, 
will open my eyes, as it di4 thofe of the fervant of 
Elifha ; when, though I fee an hoft encompafling 
our city, I may alfo fee that they that be with us are 
more than thofe that are again/} us. By the bleiling 
of God, then, I refolve that I will not, like the courtly 
prophets of Judah, ffea'k fnwoth things, and prophejy 
deceit-, but, with \&\ah,Jbew the people their tranf-> 
grefficns, and the houfe of Jacob their fins. 

Your fufferm^ and (permit me to add) your not 
the word of exhortation, are now become^ 



both of them, matters of peculiar obligation, and 
particular difficulty. When altar is creeled againft 
Altar, and one rniniftcr thinks it his duty vehemently 
to decry what another earneftly recommends, it can- 
not but be difficult for the people to judge and a& 
aright. But in all Inch cafes your line of duty is 
clear and certain : you ought confcientioufly to be 
guided by your own private judgments, and to be 
careful to follow no preacher farther than he himfelf 
follows the faith of his Church. It will indeed mortify 
and grieve me, more than I am willing to own, if, in 
thus choofing whom you will abandon and whom 
you will attend, you fhould determine to forfakeyour 
parifh priefl and parifh church. Every thing that I can 
do to prevent it, I am bound to do, and will do with 
pieafure ; but to fay that rebellion is not rebellion, is 
710 more in my power than it is to call bitter frveet, and 
fweet bitter. I cannot, indeed, help lamenting, that 
it is my lot to preach to you neceflary, rather than 
agreeable, fermons : but I cpnfole myfelf with re- 
fleeting, that, in giving advice, (which is one great 
end of preaching,) it rarely happens that the fug- 
geftions which are moft falutary and ufeful, are alfo 
mod palatable and plpafant. Deceitful kiffes are given 
by an enemy, who means to betray; whilft tie 
pounds of a friend are faithful. 

Few men can write with more perfpicuity and 
prccifion than the writer of the fermon before me, 
When he writes on fubjecls congenial to his tafte. 
Jn this fermon, however, he is involved and obfcure : 



his arguments are forced and unfair : he infinuaffcs 
more than he choofes to aflert ; and., by availing him- 
felf of words incapable of any exacl definition,, he 
excites opinions which he may avow or difavow as 
he fhall hereafter think proper. His profefled aim is 
to fhew that the Colonifts have been unjufHy fuf- 
peeled of rebellion for aflert ing a jiiftifiablc refinance. 
This he thinks he proves by a parallel drawn between 
the Colonifts and the two tribes of Reuben and Gad 
and the half -tribe of Man-afleh ; whom forne " zea- 
*< lots" of their day, with fimilar injuftice, alfo fuf- 
peeled of rebellion. It was not left to me to choofe 
the ground on which I am to meet this refpeclable 
.opponent: I am well contented, however, that it 
fhould be that which he himfclf has chofen. From 
this fame text I now undertake to fhcw you, that thefe 
two tribes and an half were not fufpecled of a difpo* 
fition to rebellion altogether without reafon ; and. 
that the parallel between them and us is not, on this 
accoim f , lefs exacT. than Dr. Smith fuppofed it was in 
the way that he drew it. 

The various difcontents and murmurings of the 
children of Ifrael in general are well known. As a 
people, they were, proverbially, ftiff-mcked and re-> 
lellious. No doubt, however, like the reft of the 
world, ibme of them were more fo than others. Thero 
is reafon to believe that the tribe, of Reuben was 
eminently refractory. Korah, Dalian, and Alriram, 
men -of renown (as the Scriptures call them,) in their 
oppofition to Mofes and Aaron., (which in thofe days 



was an oppofition to Church and State,) were all of 
them the defendants of Reuben. Indeed commen- 
tators have remarked, that " nothing great is re- 
corded of this tribe in Scripture." Perhaps they 
laboured under fome original taint, as having fprung 
(not from the beautiful and well-favoured Rachel, 
but) from tbe tender-eyed Leah. And certainly their 
progenitor, Reuben, having exceedingly difgraced 
himfelf, by going in unto Bilhab, his father s concubine, 
could reflect no credit on his posterity. So that> 
notwithstanding his prerogative, as being the firft 
born, namely, the excellency of dignity and tbe excellency 
of power, (which means that, according to the Jewifh 
polity, he was entitled to a double portion of his fa- 
ther's eflate, the priefthopd and the kingdom,) he 
forfeited them all, and was reduced to a level with 
(he reft of his brethren. This might have been ex- 
pected from the prediction of Jacob : of Reuben he 
prophefied that he would be unftable as water : was 
it then to be wondered at that be did nut excel? The 
double portion to which, by his birth, he was entitled, 
was transferred by Jacob himfelf to Jofeph and his 
fons. Nor did his punifhment end with his life : 
it was vilited upon his pofterity ; for, the kingdom 
was eflablifhed., not in the tribe of Reuben, but in 
that of Judah ; and it is remarkable that the people 
pf this tribe of Reuben were the firft who were car- 
ried away into captivity by Tiglath-Pilefer. Nations 
and communities, as fuch, can experience only tem- 
poral rewards and punifhments. We may be fure, 
7 therefore, 


therefore, that thefe continual vifitations on this tribe 
were not fent without reafon. If we may prefume 
to conjecture what this reafon was, it muft have been, 
becaufe they continued to be, as their forefathers 
were, aftubborn and rebellious generation ; a generation 
that fet not their heart aright , and whofe fpmt was not 
fleadfaft with God. 

Whether it was that they fiill fmarted and were 
fore under thefe fignal marks of difpleafure inflided 
on them as a people, or that it was owing to their 
natural reftleflhefs of mind ; or whether indeed (as 
being a people no ways diftinguifhed for their zeal 
and fortitude in the regular path of duty) they were 
more than ufually difcouraged by the evil report 
which the fpies had juft brought of the land and the 
people which they had gone to fearch, the hiftory 
has not recorded. But no fooner did thefe children 
of Reuben, with the children of Gad, fee the land of 
Jazer, with the land of Gilead, fuitable to their pur* 
pofes as a fettlemeat, than they petitioned that it 
might be given to them as a pofleffion. The requeft 
would, perhaps, at any time have been unreafon- 
able; but, at the junclure in which it was made, it 
\vas particularly ill-judged. A fmall and inconfideiv 
able people as the whole congregation at that time 
was, at leaft in comparifon of the greater and mightier 
nations which lay around them, it certainly would 
have been impolitic in them to have weakened them- 
felves flill more by a divifion of their ftrength. The 
planting of almoft a fourth part of their whole body 



in a fituation in which, in the nature of things, they 
could not confiderably, if at all, have added to the 
aggregate power" of the nation, muft have been bad 
policy, even if they had not alfo charged themfelves 
with the maintenance of thefe their feparated bre- 
thren. But, whether they did well or ill in making 
the demand, I certainly fee no relinquifhment of any 
privileges propofed by the feceders, but fuch as would 
have been incompatible with their divided fituation, 
and perfectly ufelefs to them. If it had been other- 
wife, the deprivation was, on their part, voluntary ; 
and therefore it may be fuppo-fcd they thought and 
expected that ample amends would be made to them 
in fome other way. 

Mofes appears to have exceedingly refented this 
very felfifh application, made at fo unfuitable a time, 
by this mcreafe of fmful men. It could not but be 
dictated, as he intimates it was, by fome remains of 
that fame four leaven of difobedicnce which had ac- 
tuated their fathers ; when, in the cafe of the fpics, 
they too dlfc our aged the hearts of the children of Ifrael. 
This impatience to be put in poffcffion of their in- 
heritance favoured not a little of a diuruft in God, 
who had exprefsly enjoined that the land Jhould be 
divided ly lot. It was, moreover, unkindnefs in the 
extreme, and ingratitude to the other tribes, who had 
juft defeated Sihon king of the Amorites^ and Og the 
king of Eajhan ; formidable powers in the country in 
queftion, and whom thefe two tribes and an half 
could never fingly have reduced. In the confidence 



of being fecure in what they wifhed to confider as 
their own immediate and exclusive iritereft, they feerri 
not to have cared what might become of thofe by 
whom they had been marvelloujly helped. Much was 
yet to be done, and many fierce nations ftill to be 
fubdued, before the other tribes could come into the 
quiet poffelfion of the land beyond Jordan. Was 
this a time for any one part of the whole pfcople to* 
tfirink from the common caufe, and to think of fet- 
ting up for themfelves ? They could never have 
thought of it, had they not (to ufe the words of an 
eloquent and moft excellent writer*) been of fo 
" ignoble and difingenuous tempers as that^ forget- 
" ful of the Land of Promife, and intent only on the 
" commodity of their cattle, they could have con- 
" tented themfelves to have been part of the herd, 
" and have become like the beads that periuV* 
Well might their meek Leader be incenfed at their 
want of public foirit, and fharply aik them, Whatj 
J/jaU your brethren go to war, and ye fit here ? 

Neverthelefs, that he might^/7/ the people, as Caleb 
had juft before done, with a foft and a favourable 
anfiver, he prudently agreed to leave the matter on 
the footing on which they themfelves, on fecond 
and better thoughts, had juft put it ; namely, that 
they fhould firit go over Jordan, armed, with the reft 
of the children of ifrael, to fubdue the land there alfo ; 
and that then they ibould return to poflefs the land 

* The Author of the Whole Duty of Man. 



In queftion, and be guiltkfs. Nothing more reafon- 
able could have been propofed. Even the two tribes 
and an half muft have been glad of an opportunity 
of atoning for their lad inftance of difobeclience, by 
fome fignal acts of loyalty and zeal. That done, 
they might then, on good grounds, hope, that God 
would, as he had done in other inftances of exem- 
plary penitence, permit them to poffefs the land 
which they had folicited, though the manner of their 
felicitation had been fomevvhat irregular. 

But where, in all this tranfaction, are there any cir- 
cumdances justifying an inference that it was done 
ki the way of an " original contract * ?" The whole 
people of Ifrael alone had a title to the country in 
queftion, by virtue of a firft grant from their fove- 
reign ruler, and by virtue of conqucft alfo from 
the former occupants. Of courfe, Mofes had the 
fole and exclufive right to gfae and grant it in any 
manner which he thought proper, that was- not con- 
trary to the directions of God. That part of the 
people, to whom at length the grant was actually 
made, had no right to ftipulate for any conditions ^ 
for, they gat not tie land in poflejjion ly their own- 
ftvord, neither was it their own arm that helped them. 
Accordingly "the terms of fcttlcment" are de- 
livered,, not in the cautious ftyle of a contractor, but 
with all the authority of one who has a right to die- 
tale and to command. And it requires no common. 

* See Dr. Smith's Sermon. 


{kill to find out how the free gift of Mofes to thefe 
two tribes and an half can come under the idea of & 
ftipulated reward for fervices ; fervices which he had 
a right to command, and which they could not have 
refufed without a flagrant breach of duty. 

A fenfe of common danger, and a fad fucceflion of 
common calamities, had now kept this extraordinary 
people, longer than ufual, mindful of the true prin- 
ciples of their government ; and obedient to God, 
and his fervant Mofes. Such conducl: could not 
fail to produce it*s proper effecls. In due time there 
flood not a man of all their enemies before them ; and th& 
Lord gave them reft round about , according to all that he 
/ware to their fathers. To find their labours at lad 
crowned with fo happy an iffue, was a blefFmg 
which might well excite their warmeft gratitude. 
Accordingly we find, with pleafure, that they did 
make this very proper ufe of their fuccefics : the 
whole congregation of the children of Ifrael ajfembled 
together at Shiloh, and fct up the tabernacle of the 
Congregation there. This done, it naturally and very 
properly followed, that they fhould attend to the fet- 
tlement of their temporal eft ate. And as there flill 
remained fever* tribes which had not received their 
inheritance, Jofluia (who had now fueceeded Moies 
in the command) gave orders for the choofing of 
three men out of each tribe, who were to go through 
the land, and to defer we it ; that lots might be caft for- 
their refpeclive parts. No difputes appear to have 
arifen in the adjuftmcnt of this difficult buiinefs. On 



the contrary, the people were fo well fatisfied with 
Jofliua's 'paternal care over them, that they after- 
wards allotted him an inheritance among them. 
With great prudence he laid out fix cities of refuge, 
and alfo made ample provifion for the Levites : 
hence, all that remained to be done was, that the 
Reubenites and the Gadites and tie 'half tribe of Ma- 
najfth, who had faithfully kept all that Mofes tbcfer~ 
vant %f the Lord had commanded them, fhould be lent 
back itnto tbe land of their pojfejfion, which Mofes 
had given them on the other lide Jordan. In not 
forbearing to rebuke thofe committed to his charge, 
when they deferved rebuke, Mofes had approved 
himfelf worthy of being beloved of God and men. 
Jofhua followed his good example, by being equally 
careful to beftow blame where blame was due, and 
praife where praife. He difmified thefe two tribes 
and an half with a very honourable teftimony of their 
good conduct ; together with a moft folemn, affec- 
tionate, and judicious charge rcfpecling their future 
behaviour; and no mean fhare of the profits of their 
mutual warfare, even much riches, with very much 
cattle, and finer, and gold, and brafs, and iron, with 
much raiment. 

And now we may fancy that we fee this 'little 
Colony juft on the point of fitting down, under the 
wing of a Parent State, in their new plantation ; with 
all their flocks and their herds around them, and 
cattle upon a thoufand bills. For, this diftricl was 
alfo literally a land of hills and vallies ; and it was 
alfo a place of cattle, as it comprehended Bajban % 

H h which 


which is fo often mentioned in the Scripture as 
having been celebrated for it's fat bulls, as well as for 
it's ftately oaks. No people could poffibly have a 
fairer profpect of happinefs : for, in addition to all 
the great natural advantages of a fertile diftricl:, they 
were ftill to remain under a theocratic form of go- 
vernment. It is true they were of neccility to be 
farther removed from the Ark ; but it muft have 
been their own fault, if, notwitbftanding that dif- 
advantage, they were farther from God. 

It would have been ft range, if, after fuch a proof 
of it, they had not been penetrated with a flrong 
fenfe of the Divine goodnefs ; and ftill more ftrange, 
if, feeling the full force of fuch impreilions, their 
gratitude had not prompted them to make their ac- 
knowledgment of it public. This appears to have 
been their own fentiment ; for, le&ft they came unto 
the borders f Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan^ 
they faiilt there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to fee 
tv. It was erected not only as a monument of their 
gratitude, but that it might be a memorial to all fuc- 
ceeding ages, that, although they were now about to 
be divided from the reft of the tribes, yet they were 
ftill true Ifraelites, and meant to remain fo ; and, of 
courfe, that (if 1 may be permitted to adopt a modern 
formulary of expreflion) they were entitled to all the 
liberties, franchife?, and immunities, "to all intents 
and purpofes, as if they had been born and abiding*" 
oa the other fide of the Jordan. 

* Firft Virginia Charter. 



The ereclion of an altar, however, upon any oo 
cafion, was fo novel a procedure in Ifrael, that we 
are not to wonder, if, in thofe days, when motions of 
.the church were as regular and uniform as the orbits 
defcribed by the planets, it appeared to the tribe who 
remained behind as a phenomenon hardly lefs ex- 
traordinary than it would now be to fee a fecond fun 
in the firmament. This altar was indeed an altar of 
ivitnefs, and not an altar of f aerifies : but, till it was 
fo explained, it could not fail to excite fufpicions 
that thofe who railed it were about to abandon the 
true God. They had been exprefsly warned to take 
beed not to ojfcr their burnt-offerings in every place 
witch they faw, but in the place only which the Lord 
Jhould choofe, in one of the tribes. And, as though the 
violation of this ftrong prohibition had not been fuf- 
ficient, this new altar was (like thofe dedicated to 
Pagan deities) an high one to fee to ; whereas it was 
ordered that an altar erected to the fervice of God 
fhould not exceed three cubits in hdgbt, and to be 
without Jieps. It is not fufficient to render an action 
good, that our intentions are good : prudence, as well 
as piety, requires that we fhould alftain even from ap- 
fearances of evil. It would well have become, and. 
indeed it was the duty of, thefe forty thoufand fepa- 
rated Ifraelites to have apprized their brethren of 
Canaan of their motives and defigns in erecting this 
altar ; as it might have occurred to them, that their 
taking the fleps they did, without the privity of tlie 
other tribes, could hardly fail to excite unfavourable 

H h 2 appre- 


apprehenfions. They ought to have reflected, that 
they were liable to fufpicions on the fcore of former 
delinquencies : for, to be fufpedled even when they 
are innocent, is a tax which tranfgreflbrs muft always 
ex peel to pay. They might alfo have reflected, that 
times of quietnefs and peace are too often the fore- 
runners of commotions and internal broils ; juft as 
earthquakes are faid to be ufually preceded by an un- 
ufual ferenity and ilillnefs in the air *. Mankind 
have everywhere and always been prone to be re- 
fractory, and to oppofe power : and all hiftory 
abounds with inftances to fhew, that, when communi- 
ties no longer have a common enemy from without, 
they are too apt to vent their ill humours one upon 
another, and fo to raife up enemies from among them- 
felves. Thofe who are governed are always ready to 
let themfclves again ft thofe who govern -f. This is 
more efpecially the cafe with thofe parts of the com- 

* The happy circumftances of the Colonies, before their laft fatal 
breach with this country, are admirably defcribed by Lord Cla- 
rendon, where he fpeaks of the fingular felicity of the times before 
the grand rebellion. They were " juftly looked upon as the gar- 
" den of the world: and they enjoyed the greateft calm, and the 
" fulleft meafure of felicity, that atay people in any age, for fo long 
'* a time together, have ever been bleffed With, to the wonder and 
" envy of all other parts of Chriftendom." -- Clarendon's Hift. of 
the Rebellion, vol. i. 8vo. p. 74, et feq. 


" There is in every people, naturally, fomething of a malignant and 
peevifti temper againd thofe who govern them, &c." - Plutarchi 
Prsecepta gerendae Reipublicae. Edit. Reiflie, Svb.tom. ix. p. 239. 

m unity 


munity that are at a diftance from the feat of govern* 
ment, fuch as colonies ; in the very frame and con- 
ftitution of which a principle of revolt feems to be 
interwoven. All thefe confiderations made again ft 
the two tribes and an half. It does not, then, appear 
to have been either rafh or ungenerous in the remain- 
ing tribes, on fo fair a ground, to have fufpecled 
that fuch confequences might now overtake their 
brethren as did afterwards befall Uzziah ; whofe 
heart, when he was Jtrong, was lifted up to his own 
deftruftion. In fuch a conjuncture, it was not more 
lawful for them to obey the exprcfs command of 
God *, and to gather tbemf elves together at Shlloh, to go 
to war agalnft them, than it was prudent. For, " in 
" treafons and mutinies (fays a great writer) wife 
Statefmen find it fafeft to kill the fcrpent in the 
" egg ; as a fpoonful of water may quench that fire 
" at firft, which afterwards whole buckets cannot 
" abate f." 

For this conducl, however, the whole congrega- 
tion are now ftigmatifed with the appellation of 
" zealots." If by this term the author of the fermon 
means to charge them with being actuated either by 
an unnecefiary or an imjuftinable zeal, the propriety 
of it's application to them is denied. They thought 
(and certainly not without reafon) that their brethren 
were -either fetting up altar againft altar, to worfhip 
the Lord in another place and manner than he had 
appointed, or were falling into idolatry. In either 

* See Deut. xii. ver. 13. t B P* Hallt 

H h 3 cafe, 


cafe, it was their duty to vindicate the laws of God, 
left, by forbearing to punifh the difobedient few, they. 
fhould bring down his wrath upon tie whole congrega- 
tion. When, in a better flate of things, their bre- 
thren had deferved commendation and reward, they 
had not been backward to bellow them : it was, 
therefore, now ftill more incumbent on them to be 
impartially and ftrictly juft. 

That the people regularly aflemblcd at Shiloh were 
in earned, and even zealous in a canlc which they 
believed to be the caufe of God and their country, it 
would be doing them much wrong to deny : and that 
a writer, who has very different principles and pur- 
pofes to promote, fhould difapprove of fuch zeal'*\ 
is perhaps no more than might naturally be expected. 
But, had it been only for the fake of laving appear- 
ances, fome praife might have been beflowed ou 
them for that true fpirit of candour, moderation, and 
charity, by which their zeal was regulated. Firil 
appearances were certainly not in favour of their 
brethren: but recollecting, poffibly, (what is well 
exprefled by a writer of our own,) that " to be flow to 
" wrath is to make hafte to heaven ;" and alfo that 
a foft anfwer might not only break down an altar, 
but (according to Solomon) break tbe very boms, they 
would not proceed to extremities till they had firit 
fent a folemn embafly to the fufpected tribes. <By 
thefe means an opportunity was given them of vindi-> 

fa Is good to be zealoujly affefted always in a good thing ** 
Galat. iv. ver. i 8. 



eating their conduct, if it admitted of vindication ; 
or, if not, of acknowledging their error, and promif- 
ing to atone for it by a more dutiful deportment in 
future. The temper of Phinehas, in the difchargeof 
his commiflion, was of a piece with that of the per- 
ions who lent him ; full of piety, difmtereftedneft, 
and benevolence. He could not defend, but he en* 
deavoured to palliate, the conducl againfl which he 
was commidioned to remonftrate. If the land of yonr 
poffcflioriy fays he to the two tribes and an half, be 
unclean, then pafs ye over unto fie hind of the 
of the Lord, wherein the Lord's tabernacle 
and take pojftjfion among us : but rebel not againft the 
Lord, nor rebel againft us, in biald'mg you an altar, be- 
fide the altar of the Lord our God. 

Happily this was an era in which virtue and good 
fenfe were not wholly fliflcd by the paflions and pre- 
judices of party. Inftead of any upbraidings for 
their having been unjuftly fufpccled; inftead of aft 
equivocal and evalive anfwer, fuch as a narrow po- 
licy might have fuggefted; inftead of replying by recri- 
minations, which (whether well or ill founded) would, 
in fuch a ftate of things, moft likely have made what 
was already bad much worfe, thefe two tribes and an 
half are careful only, with a moft exemplary ingcnu- 
oufnefs, and an honcft ardour, to aflcrt their innocence, 
as they do in the text : The I^rd God of gods, the Lord 
God of gods, he faowetb, and Jfrael bejball know, if it 
be in rebellion againft our Parent State, or in tranf- 
greffion againft the Lord, by a foul apoflacy from the re- 

H h 4 %ion 


ligion of our fathers, that we have fet up this altar, fave 
us not tlmday ! Confcious of the purity of their inten- 
tions, they appeal to God ; and call upon him to blefs 
them only as they are clear of any defigns of a revolt. 
Their apology was accepted, becauie it was true. 
And thus, by prudence, and a mutual good temper, 
the gathering cloud was difperfed ; and a calamity 
averted, which, elfe, might have involved them both 
in irretrievable ruin. 

And now, having (hewn, as I propofed, that if thefe 
two tribes and an half were fufpecled of meditating a 
rebellion, they were not fufpecled without rcafon 
I go on to (hew, in thefecond place, that we refemble 
them in both thefe refpecls ; that is to fay, in having 
been fufpecled of the fame crime, and in having given 
caufe for fufpicion. " In the farther parallel now to 
tf be drawn," I alfo think myfelf happy, that the cir- 
cumftances of refemblance to be adverted to are fuch 
as " require not the lead facrifice either of truth or 

I fhould imagine it mufl have already occurred to 
you, that, like the tribe of Reuben, fome of the firft 
fettlers in America lay under a jult fufpicion of oherifh- 
ing hereditary wrong principles. The Northern 
Colonies in particular were, with very few exceptions, 
peopled by avowed Independents ; whofe principles, 
whether in themfelves well or ill-founded, even thole 
who maintain them will hardly pretend are propitious 
to thofe of the Britifh Conftitution. As for the 

* Dr. Smith's Sermon. 



other Colonies, I perfuade myfelf I (hall hardly be 
thought to fpeak of them either harfhly or unjuftly 
when I compare them with the other tribe of Gad. 
The word Gad literally fignifies a troop ; and, it is 
probable, was given as a name to this tribe, from it's 
being expreffive of their character. In this refpect 
a majority of the American Colonies may very fairly 
be called Gadites : for, were not the original emi- 
grants who fettled thofe Colonies a multitude of 
people from various countries, of various habits and 
manners bound together by no other common prin- 
ciple but that of intereft or heceffity ? In the firft 
planting, then, of this our American Gilead, it would 
feeni that, like the Gilcadites beyond Jordan, we 
cannot fairly reckon on our having fet out with more 
than half a tribe of faithful Manaflites. By Manaflites, 
as applied to us, I mean thofe perfbns who, from edu- 
cation and principle, were fincerely and earneltly at- 
tached to our Conftitution both in Church and State, 
and who really emigrated on that truly Patriotic and 
Chriftian motive afligned in fome of our charters ; 
" the enlargement of the Empire, and the farther 
" propagation of Chriftianity." Manafleh fignifies 
the being forgotten : and it is remarkable that the 
prophecy of Jacob concerning the defcendants of 
Jofcph, and of courfe the defcendants of this tribe, 
was, that the archers Jbouldforely grieve them, and Jboot 
at them, and hate them. To fhe\v you " how far this 
" part of the parallel holds good *," permit me to 

* Dr. Smith's Sermon. 



refer you to the fad hiftory of what has befallen our 
own Church. A tale might be unfolded, how ihe 
has been forgotten by her friends, andjjbof at by her 
enemies, which might well make the ears of every 
churchman that hears 'it to tingle : but, I forbear ; 
this being no time for churchmen to hope to obtain a 
patient and candid hearing. As for the other parts of 
the parallel, I appeal to the whole feries of our Ameri- 
can hi dory, in which there is hardly a page which is 
not flained with fome melancholy inftance of the great 
fearcMngs of heart which we have had becaufe of the 
droifions of Reuben. I believe the people of the four 
New England governments may challenge the whole 
world to produce another people who, without actually 
rebelling, have, throughout their whole hiftory, been 
ib difaffecled to government, fo uniformly intolerant 
towards all who differ from them, fo diflatisfied and 
disorderly, and, in fhort, fo impatient under every 
proper legal reftraint not impofed by thcmfelvcs. Pie 
would not run much hazard of averting more than 
might be proved, who fhould take upon him to affirm, 
that even thofe mifguided men who, about thirty 
years ago, in Scotland, fuffercd death for being rebels, 
were, in every proper fenfc of the word, ftill better 
fubjecls, and more to be depended on, even by the 
Family now on the throne, than their liege fubjecls of 
New England in the fecurefl periods of peace. 

It has been boaftcd, that the Colonifts chearfully 
fubmitted to fundry " local inconveniencics :" as 
though they had done fo entirely for the fake of the 



Parent State. Inlinuations in this way are more mif- 
chicvous than even direct aflcrtions ; becaufe thefe 
latter, when falfe, may be refuted : whereas an in- 
finuation, however groundlefc, can be done awaj 
only by another. Thefe " inconveniencics," it is ap- 
prehended, neither have been, nor are, greater than 
many to which all the other tribes or diftrids of the 
empire have in their turns been called on to fubmit. 
But, be they ever fo great, even beyond the ftandard 
at which we take fuch pains to have them eftimalcd, 
it fhould not be overlooked, in ftating them, that 
they have been of our own feeking. Like the two 
tribes and an half, we caine hither at our own dcfirc. 
We were not lopped off the parent trunk as ufelefs or 
noxious limbs, to be hewn down, or caft into t~he fire\ 
but carefully tranfplantcd here : and we have ever 
(ince been affiduoufly and tenderly cheriflied by that 
Parent State, who has emphatically been our nurjintr- 
father and our iiurjing-mother. No part of the empire 
has received fo much from Government, or contri- 
buted fo little, as the Britifh Colonies in North Ame- 
rica. How far they, in return, have been benefited 
by us; and what might now have been the condition 
of Great Britain, if fhe had never pofleiled thefe 
Colonies, or if fhe (hould now ceafe to poffefs them ; 
are complex and difficult problems in politics, which 
I pretend not to folve. But it is neither a complex 
nor a difficult point to prove, that, owing almoft 
folely to the protection and patronage of the Parent 
State, we have rapidly rifen to a degree of refpe<5la- 



bility, and " an height of felicity, fcarce ever experi- 
" enced by any other people*." That we have 
" (hared their toil, and fought by their fide," they 
will not deny ; nor can we, without manifeft in- 
juftice and ingratitude, deny, that, whenever we have 
done fo, it was to drive away an enemy from our own 
quarters. They had but a remote intereft in fuch 
wars, being concerned in them chiefly as they con- 
cerned us : whilft we were immediately interefted, 
and muft either have fought, or have given up our 
inheritance. That, after this, they difmiffed us 
laden with Jilver and with gold^ , for having lent only 
a feeble and very unequal aid to the avenging of our 
own quarrel, was an inftance of zeal, for which, I 
confefs, either in the text or any where elfe, I in vain 
look fora parallel. 

Ourparent tribes are next vauntingly alked, "What 
"high altars we have raifed to alarm our Britifh 
" Ifrael ? and why the congregations of our brethren 
" have gathered themfelves together againft us* ?" 
To thefe home queftions, anfvvers equally home 
might eafily be given ; but, on fo delicate a point, it 
behoves me for obvious reafons to be cautious. A 
direct anfwer is not neceflary : confnlt your own 
confciences. I wrong you much if, amidft all this 

* Dr. Smith's Sermon. 

-j- This alludes to the parliamentary grants made to reimburfe 
the Colonies for the fums which they advanced during the war againft 
the French in North America, terminated in 1763. 

J Dr. Smith's Sermon. 

" pulpit 


<c pulpit cafuiftry," your confciences do liof tell you, 
ic and in accents louder than thunder," that thefe 
wars and rumours of wars, at leaft on the part of the 
Parent State, are juftified by our conduct. The altar 
that we have creeled, or are about to erect, we choofe 
indeed to call an altar of Liberty : but, whatever it's 
name be, it's object too clearly is to counteract and 
refift, if not directly to deny, the fupremacy of the 
Mother Country. If, therefore, we are confident with 
ourfclvcs, we have fet up our altar on principles totally 
diffimilar to thofe of the two tribes and an half; for, 
our principle in letting it up at all, is to declare our- 
felves, in fome fenfc, and to fome degree, a Separate 
and independent people ; whereas, to have done fb 
would, in their eftimation, have been rebellion, againft 
which they moft earneftly protected. If we intend 
peace only, for what purpofe are we now everywhere, 
in the words of the prophet Joel, trained and directed 
to prepare for war? why are our mighty men to be 
waked up ? our men of ii-ar to draw near? and '.:* 
weak driven on to fay, I am Jlrong? The great ob- 
jection which the Ifraelites aflembledat Shiloh made 
to the altar erected by the Gileaditcs, was the" danger 
to which it expofed tie ivbolc congregation. This con- 
lideration fhould alfo have it's due weight with the' 
Colotiifts; the confluences of whofe conduct, if it 
really be (as our brethren beyond the Atlantic appre-- 
hend it is) unprecedented, unconftitutional, and re- 
bellious, may be fatal not only to ourfelves, but en- 
danger the whole empire. Happily for Scotland, and 



for the whole kingdom, the mad enterprife of 
failed not, however, till it had brought infinite dif- 
trefs and calamity on that country ; but, had it fuc- 
ceeded y the calamity would undoubtedly have been 
both greater and more extenfive, O that, diverting 
ourfelves of our partialities and prejudices, we would 
fcrutinize our own conduct with as much rigour as 
we do that of the Parent State! We might then, 
perhaps, inftead of laying all the blame on them, find 
reufon to take up the lamentation of Jeremiah, and 
with him exclaim, Behold, Lord! for I am in d'tftrefs ; 
my bowels are troubled^ mine heart is turned within 
me, fsf I have grievwtfly rebelled : abroad, the fivord 
here&veth ; at home, there is as death. 

As long as the interetts of mankind are fo blended 
and interwoven with each other as in the prefent (late 
of fociety they mull nccefTarily be, and as long alfo 
as men's paflions are fb much more liftcned to than 
their reafon, fo long offences mitft needs come. But, 
woe he to thofe perfon-s who, inftead of healing our 
divisions, endeavour to widen the breach ! The 
preaching inflammatory ferrnons now can have no 
other eftcdt than that of adding fuel to a flame al- 
ready kindled^ and rifen to a very dangerous height. 
There is foracthing infultixigly cruel in the complaint 
of this fermon- writer, that " in the Parent Land ncr 
<c Phinehas has prevailed ; no embaiTy of great or good 
" men has been railed, to ft ay the fivord of defttuc- 
<c tion ; to examine into the truth of our cafe, and lave 
<c the elMon of kindred blood.^ If there be one 

5 P art 


part of the ftory in which <c the parallel" more emi- 
nently " holds good" than another, it is in this part 
of it. What, I afk, have been the various fpeeches, 
proclamations, and addrefles, of moft of the governors 
of America, ever fmce the difpute began, but fo many 
overtures to reconciliation and peace ? What have 
been the circular letters of his Majefly's minifters ? 
and, above all, what was the Conciliatory Propofition, 
is it was emphatically called, of the Britith Legifla- 
turc ? In that proportion, with a magnanimity not 
unworthy of the aflcmbly at Shiloh, they invited and 
even folicited you to an accommodation almoft on 
your own terms. Even admitting that the propo- 
lit ion was " unreafonable," and fuch an one as you 
ought not to have acceded to, ftill it was an overture 
at peace, and made by the Parent State : it is there- 
fore peculiarly unjuft to upbraid them for not having 
mado. it. Pardon me for reminding you, that we 
have but recently made the difcovery that this pro- 
pofition was " unreafonable." When we firil heard 
of it, and whilft we* were left to our own untutored 
and unbiased judgments, I believe there was but ons 
opinion among us concerning it : we all thought that 
(as had before been the cafe with refpecl to the Stamp 
Act) thefe later fubjec~ts of difpute would then fooa 
have all been amicably and finally fettled. At this 
moment I fee thofe among you who (very naturally- 
concluding the controverfy to be over) actually tri- 
umphed over thofe of us who had disapproved of the. 
mode that was taken to oppofe the Ads ; as if by that 



very oppofition the country had then carried it's point. 
Unhappily for both countries, even this peace-offering 
was foon after found out (by a " cafuiftry " with which 
no " pulpit cafuiftry" may prefume to vie) to be 
cc unreafonable, infidious, andunfatisfactory*." How-* 
ever acceptable the overture of reconciliation was, 
and is, and ought to be, to the people at large, it held 
out no particular advantages to fome particular per- 
ions, who, in their own eftimation, were entitled to 
the greateil : and that, it would feem, was fufficient 
reafon for it's not being received f. 

But here I muft, in my turn, lament that I am 
" forfaken by my text." There is a very finking 
difTnnilitude in our conduct from that of thefe our 
fuppofed prototypes in a fimilarfituation. On the re- 
monftrancc of Phinehas,and his decem viral colleagues, 
the fufpecled Ifraelitifh Colonifts gave a decent and 
a dutiful an fwer ; arid what they did correfponded 
with what they faid. " The parallel," alas ! here, no 
longer " holds good." For, without condefcending 
to copy that part of the example of the people of 
Judah, which was highly commendable, w r e feem to 

* Congrefs Declarations. 

f te All men expe&ed that both armies would be fpeedily dif- 
* banded, and fuch returns of duty and acknowledgment made to 
*' the king, as might be agreeable to their profeffions, and to the 
'* royal favours he had vouchfafed to his people. But, what pro- 
** vifions foever were made for the public, particular perfons had re 
" ceived no fatief action. Thofe who expected offices and prefer- 
" ments were left defperate in their hopes." Clarendon, vol. i. 
8vo edit. p. 262. 



have imitated the only circumftance in it that was 
exceptionable. When the men of Ifrael, on the re- 
iteration of David, had urged that they had ten parts 
and more right in tie king than their brethren of Judah, 
and that therefore their advice fhould have been firft 
had, and not defpifed, it is remarked by the facred 
writer, that (as is always the cafe with thofe who are 
in the wrong) the words of the men of Judab wert 
fercer than the words of the men of IfraeL 

With the view, perhaps, of apologizing, in fome 
degree, for the ungracious reception of fo conciliating 
a propofition, the author of the fermon next tells you, 
that a " continued fubmiilion to violence is no tenet 
" of our Church :" as though the object of the pro- 
pofition had been to exact a continuance of " fub- 
" miffion to violence." I truft it is unneceffary for 
me again to repeat, how very unfair a reprefentation 
this is of the tenor of the offer that was then made to 
the Colonies. Had the fact even been otherwife, the 
afiertion is a bold one ; becaufe I hope the author, 
with all his zeal for his new doctrines, would be loth 
to have it fufpecled that either he, or our Church, 
holds any " tenets" which are contrary to God's word 
written: and, that when we are f mitten on one cheek 
we are to give alfo the other to be fmitten, that we 
are to love our enemies, and to fray for thofe that per- 
fecute us, (duties which furely may well be called 
fubmittmg to violences?) are the undoubted doctrines of 
Scripture, and, as fuch, the tenets of our Church." 
" The Ghrifiian religion," fays one who had ftudied it 

I i well. 


\frell*, " both in itfelf and in it's author, is a fufFering 
" -religion ; a religion enjoining fufFering, teaching 
" fufFering, and rewarding fufFering." 

PofFibly, however, this " continued fubmiflion to 
" violence," and " abfolute non-refiftance," which is 
next mentioned, and which, this author informs you, 
" is now fully exploded among every virtuous people," 
are confidered as fynonymous phrafes. At any rate 
his language is inaccurate ; and the pofition ex- 
tremely questionable, if not falfe. I am not fure that 
in a lawful government there can, properly fpeaking, 
be any fuch thing as violence. The decrees or the 
acls of government may be, and no doubt often are, 
ill judged and unwife > firicr, fevere, and even op- 
preffive : but, as long as they are enacled confiitu- 
tionally, and according to law, I fee not how they 
can with any propriety be called violences : and not 
\ofubmit to them, even when they are moft unwife, 
and, if you will, unjuft, is a crime againfl the law of 
the land, and a fin in the fight of God. Violences, 
in a political fenfe, are any exertions or exercifes of 
power by perlbns not legally invefied with power. 
Whatever fuch perfons take upon them to do in the 
way of authority, even though it be wife, neceflary, 
humane, and beneficent, is, literally, ufurpation and 

i * Dr. South. 

" Remember, patience is the Chriftian's courage. 
" Stoics have bled, and Demigods have died : 

" A Chriftian's taik is harder 'tis to fuffer." 

-Myilerious Mother, A. iv. Sc. 4. 


Violence. " The free-born foul revolts " at the idea 
offuhnitting to fuch un authoritative, lawlefs behefts; 
and muft have been " long debafcd, and have drank 
" in the laft dregs of corruption, before it can brook " 
the damnable dotlnne and pofition, that any govern- 
ment lawfully eftablifhed may be denounced, or rc- 
fifted, by any fe!f-commiflioned perfons inverted with 
no authority by law, on any pretence whatfoever. 

Never furely, on any other occafion, have fuch un- 
wearied pains been taken, as ever fince the Revolu- 
tion all popular writers have taken, to bring the doc- 
trine of " non -refiftance " into difrepute. It might 
be imagined, that all the bed interefts of mankind 
were concerned in it's being indeed " fully exploded 
" among every virtuous people." The facl, how- 
ever, is, that as the affertion of this doctrine's being 
fo exploded is indifputably falfe, fo mankind are 
much concerned in the pofition refpecling the law- 
fulnefs of refiftance not being generally believed to be 
true. Were it otherwife, along with the doclrine of 
" non-refiftance," government itfclf muft alfo be 
" exploded ;" becaufe it is eflential to all govern- 
ment to be irrefiftible *. 


* If it be allowed lawful for fubjeds, in any cafe, to take arms 
' againft their Sovereign, this muft include in them a right of judg- 
" ing whether their prefent cafe be fuch in which they may law- 
" fully refift or no, otherwife they muft either have a general 
" power of refiilance, and taking arms without any diftinaion of 
" any cafes ; to aflert which would be all one as to declare them no 
"fab/efts, or under no government ; or clfe they muft rcOft in no cafe 

1 i 2 "^ 


Too many of the friends of King William, and his 
fucceflbrs the Family now on the throne, (very con- 
trary to the fenliments and intentions of thofe who 
were the chief inftruments in bringing about the Re- 
volution,) thought it for the intereii of their caufe to 
vindicate the Revolution on the principle of it's being 
effected by a juftifiable refinance; hoping thereby 
(in the words of Mr. Locke) " to make good their 
" title to the crown in the confent of the people/' 
It was one of thofe hazardous principles of policy, 
fuggefted by a temporary expediency, which (to the 
infinite detriment of our country) has more or lefs 
ever lince pervaded her Councils. To the fhort- 
fightednefs, the iniquity, and the danger of fuch 
policy, the perpetual unfettled flate of the kingdom, 
fhaken by two rebellions iince it has been fo gene- 
rally adopted, and our prcfent diftradtions, bear ample 
teftimony, .The inconfiftency did not efcape the 
penetration of an obferving and fenfible Foreigner at 
the time ; who remarked, that fuch principles were 
then patronized and encouraged as would render the 
reign of every future Britilh Monarch of the Ha- 

" i& **L a * all. But, to aflfert that the people, or inferiors, arc, of right, 
fudges of the eafes in which they may refift their fuperiors, is as 
** much as to fay, they are bound to fubje&ion only as far as them- 
'*. felves fhall think fit ; and that they may claim an authority over 
" their governors, and pafs judgment upon them, and deprive them 
" of their dignity, authority, and life itfelf, vvhenfoever they mail 
<* think it requifite and needful. But this cannot be otherwife 

than\i general confufion in the world." Dr. Falkner r s Chrif- 

tian Loyalty, zdcditt 1684, p. 365. 



noverian fucceflion, difturbed, unftable, and pre- 
carious *. 

But, whatever doclrines any particular adminiftra- 
tion, governed only by human policy, may fee fit to 
avow or difavow, the word of God, like mount Zion, 
abideth faft for ever; andthedodtrine of " non-refift- 
ance " is unquestionably " a tenet of our Church. 1 * 
It is the uniform doctrine of the Articles, the Liturgy, 
the Injunctions, and Canons, and Homilies ; in one 
of which I find the following ftrong words : " Lucifer 
" was the firft author and founder of rebellion ; which 
" is the firft, the greateft, and the root of all other 
" fins. Kings and princes, as well the evil as the 
" good, do reign by God's ordinance ; and fubjecls 
" are bound to obey them, and for no caufe to re- 
" fift, or withftand, or rebel, or make any fedition 
<c againft them, although they be wicked men. It 
<c were a perilous thing to commit unto fubjecls the 
"judgment, which prince is wife, which government 
" good ; and which othervvife. A rebel is worfe 

* " Les Torys veritables et proprement dijs 

" font, en meme terns, zeles defenfeurs de la maifon de Hanover, de 
Peglife, et de la monarchic. Au contraire, (bus le manteau de 
" Whigs, il fe cache des factions, qui, fi on leur permettoit de fc 
" fortifier, ne feroient pas moins dangereufes pour la maifon dc 
" Hanover, que pour 1'eglife, et pour la monarchic." Reflexiont 
du Dr. Jablonfki fur la Lettre de Mr. Bonnet, Refidcnt.du Roi de 
PrufTe a Londres ; adreflees au Roi, fon Maitre, datee de Londres, 

le 17 Mars, 1711. Extrait des Memoires de la Vic du Dr. Jean 

Sharpe, Archeveque de York : imprime a Londres par W. Richard- 
fon, &c. dans Fleet-Street, 1767. 

I i 3 thaa 


" than the word prince, and a rebellion worfe thaa 
* e the worft government of the worft prince that 
" hath hitherto been." 

It is an inftance of boldnefs, for which I want a 
name, to fet up the vague " feelings " of mankind in 
oppofition to the Scriptures ; and to teach mankind 
to conlider thofe Scriptures as perverted, when ad- 
duced in contradiction to this imaginary voice fup- 
pofed to " fpeak in the hearts of men. " What ! are 
the Scriptures true or untrue as they agree or dif- 
agree with this novel, undefinable, fomething called 
men's " feelings ?" Let our author, if he will, con- 
tinue to recommend reliftance to the people of Ame- 
rica, on the authority of " feelings," which, if they 
be comprehenfible, are certainly not definable ; "feel- 
" ings" fuggefted by fome ideal agent, here called 
" the Genius of America :" but let him forbear to im- 
pofe on you fuch reveries (better fuited to poets than 
divines) on the authority of that pure and perfeft 
wijdom which is from above* For, fa ye well affured^ 
that " the Chriftian religion doth plainly forbid the 
<e refiftance of authority ;" and for this befl of all 
reafons, becaufe " the government and peace of 
<c human fociety could not well fubfift on any other 
" principles*." 

I farther take upon me to aflert, in oppoiition to 
our author, that " many of the brightefl luminaries 

* See Abp. Tiljotfon's Letter to Lord Ruffell when he was 
under fentence of death. 



" of the Church, near a century ago/' did uniformly 
maintain the doftrine of non-refiftance to be " the 
" true doftrine of the Church of England, agreeable 
" to God's word." If the queftion is to be deter- 
mined by the authority of names, I am proud to find 
on my fide the archbifhops Cranmer, Bancroft, Whit- 
gift, Montague, Ufher, Bramhall, Sharp, Tennifon, 
and Tillotfon ; and the bifhops Latimer, Jewell, 
Andrews, Hall, Brownrig, Sanderfon, Taylor, Kenn, 
Ward, Burnet, Barrow, Moore, Patrick, Wake, 
and Berkley : and, among the many other eminent 
dignitaries and divines of our Church, South, Sher- 
lock, Clagget, Stebbing, and Snape ; together with 
thofe lingularly learned men, the non-jurors Hickes, 
Leilie, and Collier. The fame dodlrine has alfb 
been ftrenuoufly maintained by many of the mofl 
diflinguifhed reformed divines abroad ; viz. by 
Erafmus, Grotius, Beza, Luther, Calvin, Ifaac Cafau- 
bon, Peter du Moulin, Allix, and Bourdieu. Our 
author is challenged to produce a lift of divines or 
fcholars equally refpec~table, to prove (what he con- 
fidently afTerts) that the doctrine of refiftance was 
preached by the brighteit luminaries of the Church, 
near a century " paft ;" and that the contrary doc- 
trine is now " fully exploded by every virtuous 
" people." 

Into fuch inconfiftencies do men naturally run, 
when, not fatisfied with the principles held by their 
fathers, and which have flood the teft of ages, they 
adopt new notions, as mifchievous as they are vifion- 

I i 4 ary ; 


ary ; concerning which when they attempt to explain 
themfelves, they neither know what they have [aid, 
nor whereof they lave affirmed. We are, indeed, 
unhappily " fallen on evil days., and evil tongues," 
in which it is the fafhion to reverfe all that our fore- 
fathers deemed wife and facrcd : and all the wifdom 
of all preceding times, though founded on the im 
mutable bails of reafon and religion, is (by mere 
affertions, hardly fupported by the fbadow of an ar- 
gument) now furnmarily voted to be the fuperftition 
of a dark age. All the good old dodlrines of our 
venerable Divines, founded as they are on Scripture 
and on found Philofophy, are now made to give way 
to (what we are pleafed to call) the deductions of 
Reafon; as if it were poffible that found Reafon fhould 
ever be at variance with Revelation. And St. Paul, 
the mod direct and unequivocal of all writers, is now 
to be interpreted as if he had written with I know 
not what of exceptions and tacit referves. St. Paul 
wrote as he was infpired. By what " cafuHlry," then, 
can we, with all our fuppofed acceffions of light and 
liberality, comment into a meritorious duty that con- 
duct which he explicitly calls a damning lin ? Has 
a fucceilion of ages altered the unalterable natures 
of truth and virtue : or, are we to fet up the loofe and 
debauched opinions of a loofe and unprincipled age 
for the unerring flandards of right and wrong ? At 
this rate, we (hall reft our faith, not on the infpired 
and heaven-diclated dogmas of St. Paul, but on the 
fubtle and uncertain deductions of Mr. Locke, and 



his numerous imitators. If refiftance to the fupreme 
power of a nation be indeed a virtue, and the practice 
of it our duty, 1 confefs I can no more fee how the 
reputation of the Apottle is to be faved, than I can 
fee how the peace of the world is to be fecured. In 
truth, where the reafon of the fubjecl is fet above the 
law of the land, and the freedom of the magiftrate is 
facrificed to the freedom of the people ; where kings 
are, without a metaphor, bound in fetters, and fub- 
jecls, without a crime,, claim it as a matter of right to 
refill: at pleafure, government is in facl already over- 
turned, and all the great bonds of human fociety are 
diflblved. In fuch circumftances, all that a careful 
difcerner of the times can allow himfelf to expect, is, 
<i certain fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery in- 
dignation to confume fuch a kingdom. With the 
abfurdity and the guilt of fuch doctrines our Church, 
God be thanked, free m the liberty wherewith Chrift 
hath made her free, is not chargeable ! We have no 
fuch cuftom> neither the Churches of God. 

To conclude With refpect to the end we have 
in view, namely, the prefervation of "a great empire, 
" and re-uniting all it's members in one facrcd bond 
" of harmony and public happinefs," I truft there is 
but one mind among us. But, as to the means bed 
adapted to the attainment of that end, your preacher, 
you find, differs in opinion exceedingly from him who 
preached " at the requeft of the officers of a battalion." 
Both our opinions, with the arguments by which we 
endeavour to fupport them, are now before you. 



Choofe ye Ms day, then, to which of them you will 
adhere. God grant that your determination may be 
fuch as becomes wife and good men ! 

Permit me yet farther to add, that, felecled as this 
portion of Scripture was, not for the inftruclion of the 
officers of one battalion only, but for the edification 
of the people of America in general, (as appears by 
the Difcourfe's having been publifhed,) it was natural 
to expect that that part of it, which in your prefent 
circumftances might with mofl advantage have been 
propofed to your imitation, ihould have been recom- 
mended to you. As, however, this has not been, 
done by the author, it is now the more incumbent on 
me to prefs it on your notice. Whatever may be the 
motives or intentions of thofe who have fet it up, the 
altar of Liberty is now, beyond all doubt, creeled among 
us , and, whether with or without reafon, it's erection 
has excited the jealoufy of the Parent State. The 
difpute, therefore, is begun : and all that is of great 
moment, now to be attended to, is, how it may be 
happily terminated. You are now in a fituation very 
like that of the Gileaditcs, when they returned the 
fenfible and very proper anfvver recorded in the text : 
Go ye, and do Mewife. If America can (and it is my 
firm perfuafion that the great body of the people of 
America very confcientioufly can) make the fame 
folemn appeal to Heaven that the Gileadites did, viz. 
that it is not in rebellion that our country is now fet 
forth in hoftile array, America is without excufe if it 
l>e not made. She will be dill more Jnexcufable i 



when fuch a proteftation is made, fhe does not prove 
by her conduct that it was made in (incerity. 

All the common principles of reafoning muft fail 
if fuch a conduct on the part of this country would 
not produce it's defired effect, and if, as Tertullus 
faid to Felix, you would not again enjoy great quietnefs 
by. your connexion with your fellow-fubjedts on the 
other fide of our Jordan. I add, with not lefs con- 
fidence, that, were the prefent breach healed, very 
worthy deeds would again be done, as we all know has 
heretofore been the cafe, by their providence. Blefled, 
for ever blefled, will thofe good men be, who, ivbilft 
the people Jland up, and the rulers fake counfel together, 
fhall, by the lenient arts of perfuafion, fo mitigate our 
heats, and fo appeafe our refentments, that, notwith- 
ftanding all that has pafled, we may again embrace as 
brethren, and both they and we hereafter lead quiet 
and peaceable lives in all godlinefs and honefty. , 

At this moment you Hand on an awful precipice ; 
on the very brink of rebellion. A few fleps farther, 
and you will plunge into a gulph which will fwallow 
up every hope of future peace. To-day, then, whilft 
it is called to-day, paufe and bethink yourfelves : if 
you have already gone too far, I befeech you fpcedily 
and carefully to meafure back your fteps, whilft haply 
it is in your power. The Parent Tribes of Ilrael re- 
ceived the once-fufpected Settlers of Gilead with open 
arms ; and doubt not but that your Parent State will 
imitate this conduct. If, as is pretended, you have 
already afked this boon, and have not received it, it 



has been owing folely to your having ajke d amifs. You 
alked with arms in your hands*. This was as im- 
politic, as it was undutiful. Taught by experience, 
Jearn ye now a wifer and a better policy : difclain not 
to take inftruction from the inhabitants of Tyre and 
Sidon, who, in the days of Herod, came with one ac- 
cord, and faming made BLtASTUS, the kings cham- 
'kerlaln^ their friend, dejired peace, lecauje their country 
was nourijbed by the kings country. 


THERE is, in the ninth book of Dionyilus of 
HalicarnafTus, a fpeech of one Spurius Servilius, a 
patrician, who was malicioufly perfecuted by the tri- 
bunes, fo very appofite to the fubject of this Sermon, 
that I cannot refifl the temptation of giving it to my 
Readers in the words of his able tranflator, Mr. 

" Let me fpeak to you upon this fubjecl with free- 
" dom : for, it is contingent neither with my temper 
" to fpeak, nor with your advantage to hear me, in 
" any other manner. You a<5l ccfntrary both to 
" juftice and piety, plebeians, in not acknowledging 

* " Si quid ab fenatu petere vellent, ab armis difcedant^ 

*' Romam fupplices proficifcantur : ea mifericordia atque manfue- 
'* tudine fenatum populumque Romaniim femper fuilTe, ut nemo 
*' ucquam ab eo auxilium fruftra pctiverit." Sail. Bell. Catilm. 

" the 


f the many great benefits you have received from the 
" Senate ; and in refenting their refufal to grant fome 
" of your defires, which, if granted, would bring 
" great prejudice to the publicwhen this refufal 
" does not proceed from their envy to you, but from 
" their regard to the advantage of the commonwealth. 
" Whereas the beft thing you could have done was 
" to have paid a deference to their refolutions, as 
" flowing from the beft of motives, and calculated for 
" the general good ; and to have defifted from your 
" earncftnefs. But if you were unable to conquer 
" your unprofitable defires by prudent confiderations, 
" you ought to have aimed at the obtaining the fame 
" thing by perfuafion, and not by violence. For, 
" voluntary prefents are not only more agreeable to 
( thofe who grant them, than fuch as are extorted, 
" but alfo more lading to thofe who receive them : 
" which is a thing, I call the Gods to witnefs, you do 
" not confider ; but are agitated by your demagogues, 
u like the fea by various winds perpetually fucceeding 
" one another, and provoked to rage, and will not 
" fuffer the commonwealth to enjoy the lead quiet 
" and tranquillity. This has made us prefer war to 
"peace; fince, when we are in war, we hurt our 
" enemies when in peace, our friends. However, 
" plebeians, if you look upon all the refolutions of 
" the Senate to be advantageous to the common- 
" wealth, as they really are, why do you not look 
" upon this refolution alfo in the fame light ? But, if 
" you are of opinion that the Senate do. not take the 
6 " Icaft 


" leaft confederation of any thing that is incumbent 
" on them, but govern the commonwealth unikilfully, 
" why do you not remove them all at once, take the 
" government upon yourfelves, and make war in 
" fupport of your own fovereignty, rather than pare 
" them, deftroy them by degrees^ and take off the 
" moft confiderable men by your fentences ? lince 
" it is better for all of us, in general, to be attacked 
<e by open war, than for every one in particular to be 
<e circumvented by calumnies. However, you are 
" not .the caufes of thefe diforders ; but, as I faid, 
tc your demagogues, who en flame you, and who are 
" both unwilling to obey and unable to command. 
" And their imprudence and inexperience have often 
" exerted all their power to overfet this (hip ; but 
cc the Senate, who have been reviled by them in the 
<c ievereft terms, corrected their errors, and kept the 
" commonwealth upright. 

" Whether thefe things are agreeable to you, or 
" difpleafing, they have been uttered and hazarded 
by me